Dela Rosa seeks to institutionalize anti-insurgency task force

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2022 12:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 18 2022 01:13 PM

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Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said Monday he would seek to institutionalize the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, as he denied its alleged red-tagging.

Dela Rosa said "red-tagging" is a term used by left-leaning individuals.

"Ang aking legislative measure walang binabago at walang provision dun na red-tagging kasi pag in-admit mo yung term na ayan ay panalo na ang CPP-NPA dahil kanila yung term na yan eh," he said.

(My legislative measure doesn't change anything and there's no provision there about red-tagging because if you admit that term, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army wins because that's theirs.)

"'Di ako naniniwala d'yan sa red-tagging na yan... Dapat gawin ng ELCAC truth-tagging. Kung ano ang totoo ilabas ninyo. 'Wag niyo lokohin ang ating mga kababyan. Wala akong pakialam dyan sa red-tagging, bahala sila dyan."

(I don't believe in red-tagging...The ELCAC should do "truth-tagging." Let the truth come out. Don't fool the public. I don't care about red-tagging, that's others' problem.)

He urged those who were victims of red-tagging to file a case in court.

"Meron tayong justice system, tingin nila naagrabyado sila wala naman pumipigil sa kanila na mag-file ng kaso sa korte. Kung bina-violate ng gobyerno ang batas, then kasuhan nila," he said.

(We have a justice system; if they think they were harassed, nothing stops them from filing a case in court. If government violated the law, then sue it.)

Dela Rosa said he was "optimistic" his measure would succeed despite some of his colleagues who earlier proposed to defund the task force.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC) XIII meeting at the Almont Inland Resort Convention Center in J.C. Aquino Avenue, Butuan City on April 12, 2022. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC) XIII meeting at the Almont Inland Resort Convention Center in J.C. Aquino Avenue, Butuan City on April 12, 2022. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo

National Security Adviser Dr. Clarita Carlos last month said she hoped the NTF-ELCAC would stop red-tagging individuals and instead focus on actually helping people on the ground.

Groups accused of having links with the armed communist movement have warned against the deadly consequences of red-tagging.

Activists Zara Alvarez, Jory Porquia, and Chad Booc are some of the activists who were reportedly accused of being communist rebels before they were gunned down. 

Some of the activists killed on Bloody Sunday last year were also supposedly red-tagged before they got killed during simultaneous pre-dawn raids in the CALABARZON region.

Several cases seeking protection from the courts have also pointed to allegedly concerted efforts of labelling victims as communists and placing their pictures on tarpaulins, flyers and facebook posts before they were eventually arrested or killed. 

— With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News