MANILA - The Makabayan bloc is mulling charges against Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy for accusing several lawmakers of being high-ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army, a lawmaker said Thursday.
The House Committee on Appropriations suspended budget proceedings for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) after the Makabayan bloc accused Badoy of red-tagging.
Badoy should clearly state her accusations against Makabayan bloc lawmakers under oath, said ACT Partylist Rep. France Castro.
"We will again engage tomorrow if she will be there in the budget hearing... so that accountability would be there and then the legal team of the Makabayan bloc is studying a case for Undersecretary Badoy," she told ANC.
During Wednesday's hearing, Castro said Badoy's red-baiting or "terror-tagging" is a threat to the lives of Makabayan bloc lawmakers.
"Hindi kami papayag na basta na lang hahayaan na ang isang Undersecretary ng isang ahensiya ng gobyerno ay patuloy na maghahasik ng kaniyang mga kasinungalingan na nagdudulot ng pandarahas at pananakot sa aming buhay at pamilya. Hindi biro ang maaaring kapinsalaan ng red-tagging sa isang indibidwal o organisasyon," she said during the hearing.
"Malaki ang epekto nito, especially threat to our life. Marami nang aktibista, members of progressive grouse na pinatay sa red-tagging," she added in the ANC interview.
Castro tagged as "fake news" Badoy's social media posts that allege the bloc "directly guides and gives explicit or implicit instructions" the CPP's armed wing "to destroy the government and kill democracy."
"Tapos 'yung fake news pa about dun sa mga ginagawa daw namin na sinasabi namin sa Kongreso na kami daw ay ginagamit namin ang Kongreso para isulong ang kung ano-ano," she said.
(Also she posts fake news about us allegedly using our seat in Congress to push for all sorts of things.)
"Lahat ng post ng Makabayan bloc nilalagyan nila ng fake news."
(She includes fake news in all posts of Makabayan bloc.)
For her part, Badoy said she will not resign her post for linking Makabayan lawmakers to the CPP-NPA.
"Makabayan Bloc Reps ought to give this redtag charge a rest. We can no longer count the number of times they've sued government for redtagging. They've done it in all administrations. And each time, our courts would throw it out for lack of merit," she said in a Facebook post.
She added: "All petitions they've filed against government have failed to pass the substantial evidence test. In other words, our courts have already ruled that membership into the organization redtagged is not an actionable threat."
"In even more specific terms, there is no evidence that being lumped with commies is a threat to your life - as the Makabayan Bloc keep insisting."
The PCOO will ask Badoy to distinguish her personal opinion from her "professional life" as a government official, said Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan.
"Medyo naging very spirited lang po kasi in the past few days but we will get to the end of it and make sure a line is drawn sa personal life and opinion niya (Badoy) at ang ating professional life bilang isang opisyal ng PCOO," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(The undersecretary was very spirited in the past few days but we will get to the end of it and make sure a line is drawn between her personal life and opinion and her professional life as a PCOO official.)
The official, who also serves as spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, seemed to have crossposted content from the task force's page, he added.