Health workers' group files raps vs Badoy for red-tagging

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2022 11:02 AM | Updated as of Apr 07 2022 04:34 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) — A group of health workers on Thursday filed a complaint before the Office of Ombudsman against the spokesperson of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for linking their organization to the armed communist movement. 

The Alliance of Health Workers is seeking the immediate preventive suspension and ultimate dismissal from service of NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy for red-tagging. They are also asking for the cancellation of Badoy's civil service eligibility and permanent disqualification from government service.

"Nakakalungkot lang po kasi nakakatakot itong 'pag nire-red-tag tayo. Alam natin na mapanganib po ito at buhay ang nakataya dito," AHW national president Robert Mendoza told ANC's "Rundown" Thursday.

He believed the AHW was red-tagged after calling for the abolition of the controversial anti-insurgency task force.

The group's legal counsel, lawyer Rico Domingo, warned against partisan activity among government officials.

"Hindi natin dapat pananatilihin na ganito ang ginagawa ng government functionaries, ng officials," he said. Ginagamit nila ang kanilang facilities sa government for politicking, partisanship for their own benefits. Dapat i-stop natin itong ginagawa ni Usec. Badoy na ito.”

In a column published on Philippine News Agency last year, Badoy claimed that the AHW was among organizations created by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front "precisely for the infiltration of government."

The Presidential Communications Undersecretary alleged that the health workers' group had "infiltrated the Philippine Orthopedic Center, UP PGH, Lung Center, Kidney Institute, regional/provincial hospitals all the way down to the barangay levels."

Mendoza lamented that Badoy, also a medical doctor, had red-tagged members of AHW, who had been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Kahit nandito 'yung malalang understaffing, napakababa ng sahod ng ating mga health workers at delayed hanggang sa ngayon 'yung ating mga benepisyo, kami ay patuloy pa rin na nagbibigay ng serbisyo sa ating mga mamamayan at patuloy rin tayong sumusunod sa mga batas," he said.

Mendoza added that Badoy made such remark even without sufficient evidence to prove their alleged connection with communists rebels.

Badoy is also facing complaints before the graft-busting agency for red-tagging activists, various groups and even Vice President Leni Robredo. She has yet to respond on the complaints.

—With a report from Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News