Ex-lloilo lawmaker hopes SC ruling frees activists from red tagging

Ex-lawmaker hopes SC ruling frees activists from red-tagging

Ex-lawmaker hopes SC ruling frees activists from red-tagging


ILOILO CITY — A “red-tagged” Ilonggo activist and former lawmaker has expressed hopes that a recent Supreme Court (SC) ruling would pave the way for political dissenters to get rid of persecution.

Siegfred Deduro, a former Bayan Muna representative in the 12th Congress, last week secured a writ of amparo from the high court after he was repeatedly linked by the Army to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).


READ: Supreme Court: Red-tagging threatens one’s right to life, security


The court described the petition for a writ of amparo as a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty, and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or of a private individual or entity.

“I hope that this SC ruling will benefit thousands of other activists and political dissenters like me,” Deduro said in a statement.

“Having said that, I still fear for my life, liberty, and security amid the continuing impunity in extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, and illegal arrests and detention on trumped-up charges in our country,” he added.

Deduro earlier filed a petition for a writ of amparo against then Major General Eric Vinoya of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) who allegedly linked him to the CPP-NPA-NDF.

READ: SC ruling on red-tagging also favors NTF-Elcac, official says

In a 39-page decision penned by Associate Justice Rodil Zalameda, the high court recognized the act of red-tagging.


Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, said the ruling promulgated on July 3, 2023, but released only on May 8, was “an opportunity for all parties concerned to present evidence in the interest of justice and in upholding the rule of law.”

“[The] 3ID upholds the truth and abides by the rule of law in all areas of its operations. By adhering to these principles, the division reaffirms its role as guardians of justice and defenders of human rights. 3ID shall continue to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to integrity, justice, and accountability toward this end,” Sison said in a statement.

He likewise downplayed the red-tagging or connecting a person or entity to the CPP and its wings, the NPA and the NDF.

READ: A slap in the face of red-taggers

“3ID does not ‘red-tag’. Aside from the fact that it is not a government policy, such ‘words’ do not exist. On the other hand, information presented to the public is verified and published in the interest of public safety and security,” he added.

The statement echoed the sentiments of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Executive Director Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr., who said the writ of amparo issued by the SC was distinct from the privilege of the writ.

“The Regional Trial Court (RTC) is still yet to determine the relevance and consistency of the evidence by both parties in resolving the petition. The Supreme Court has only issued the writ of amparo, which is entirely different from the grant of the privilege of the writ,” he said.

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“We look at this decision as an opportunity for the respondent to present witnesses and evidence regarding Deduro’s connections with the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Torres added.

TAGS: red-tagging, Supreme Court

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