PCOO 'never red-tagged any individual': Andanar

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2020 03:31 PM

MANILA - The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Tuesday denied that the agency has been red tagging individuals who have been vocal against the Duterte administration.

"Red tagging means that the PCOO is using all of its official agencies and platforms" to disseminate information that some individuals are part of the Communist Party of the Philippines," Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a Senate budget hearing.

"The PCOO, as an institution, has never red tagged any individual of this republic," he said.

Several House members moved to defer the approval of the PCOO's 2021 budget after Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy posted several items alleging that several opposition party-list lawmakers were high-ranking officials of the communist movement. 

Andanar earlier said that Badoy posted the statement on her official account, and not on PCOO's official platforms.

Badoy, who was also present in the online budget hearing, said that the issue has been settled.

"I'd like to inform you that we were actually brought to court by the NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines), Gabriela, Rural Missionaries and up to the Supreme Court," Badoy said.

"The ruling was that there is no -- the threat is not real, and it is based on amorphous grounds," she said.

But the NUJP belied Badoy's claim, saying they have not filed cases against her in any court.

"We haven't sued anyone over red-tagging," NUJP chair Nonoy Espina told reporters in a text message.

Badoy was instructed to submit the Supreme Court's alleged ruling to the Senate Committee on Finance.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier said that the House could not "hostage" the PCOO's budget to force Badoy to resign from her post.