MANILA - Red-tagging is not a policy of the Philippine National Police, its new chief said Thursday, despite old social media posts of local police stations identifying supposed communist leaders and associations.
PNP Chief Camilo Cascolan said PNP is not engaged in red-tagging, as he faced lawmakers during the budget deliberation of the Department of Interior and Local Government at the House Appropriations Committee for 2021.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate however pointed out that many PNP social media accounts have been attacking members of the Makabayan Bloc on social media.
Zarate then explained that in many PNP social media posts, pictures of the Makabayan bloc were used in posts tagging them as terrorists. Zarate then asked if the PNP can commit to take down these posts.
Cascolan told Zarate that the PNP will investigate, evaluate and remove any posts engaged in red-tagging.
ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro asked the same questions to which Cascolan gave similar answers. Cascolan told Castro that the PNP does not sanction red-tagging and that it is investigating these posts.
Cascolan told Castro he will give a report on the results of their investigation in 2 weeks.
Before this, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat also inquired into how the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC) determines which are the cleared barangays that can qualify for the Barangay Development Program under the Local Government Support Fund.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año explained there are parameters spelled out in a joint letter of the AFP and PNP to determine which areas are cleared.
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago then inquired from Año how the government wanted to spend the P16.4 billion in the NTFELCAC 's P19.1-B budget for the Barangay Development Program under the Local Government Support Fund.
Año explained that 822 barangays that have been cleared of insurgency from 2016 to 2018 may avail of the BDP assistance. He however failed to provide a breakdown of the funds when Elago sought details.