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SC decision on red-tagging being a threat to life is an overdue ruling, says Bahaghari

Bahaghari has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on Deduro vs. Vinoya (G.R. No. 254753), where it declared that “red-tagging, vilification, labelling, and guilt by association threaten a person’s right to life, liberty, or security.”

LGBTQIA organization Bahaghari has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on Deduro vs. Vinoya (G.R. No. 254753), where it declared that “red-tagging, vilification, labelling, and guilt by association threaten a person’s right to life, liberty, or security.”

For Bahaghari, “it is a slap on the face to rampant red-taggers and purveyors of false accusations, such as the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), an agency that has infamously labelled human rights defenders and people’s organizations as terrorists and ‘front organizations’ of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).”

Ang deklarasyong ito mula mismo sa Kataas-taasang Hukuman ay isang sampal sa NTF-ELCAC at sa mga nagsasabing gawa-gawa lang ng mga maka-Kaliwang grupo ang konsepto ng red-tagging. May this ruling be the catalyst for the NTF-ELCAC’s abolition, especially on the context of the ongoing peace talks, and pave the way to hold accountable the people in power who have recklessly endangered the lives of numerous human rights advocates,” said Bahaghari’s secretary-general Arri Samsico, adding that “this ruling vindicates the many jailed, disappeared, and slain activists who gave voice to underserved communities across the country.”

Bahaghari claimed to have recorded several cases of red-tagging against LGBTQIA activists and unionists. “Simula ng pagkakabuo ng NTF-ELCAC ay nagtala na ito ng samu’t saring atake sa buhay at seguridad ng daan-daang aktibista. It even resulted in extrajudicial arrests and enforced disappearances, like what Loi Magbanua faced. Marami rin ang nakaranas ng surveillance o paniniktik, tulad ng aming chairperson na si Reyna Valmores, Ariana Soledad, at Kim Federizo. Kabilang naman si Verdy Pongasi sa bilang ng mga lumalaking bilanggong pulitikal sa bansa. Ang red-tagging ay dumulot na rin sa pagpaslang ng LGBTQIA advocates, gaya ni Chad Booc, na ikinatuwa pa ni Lorraine Badoy at kanyang mga kasapakat sa ELCAC,” Samsico said.

“We welcome this decision and hope it becomes an onus to finally scrap draconian laws enabling red-tagging still in effect, such as the Anti-Terrorism Law. Sa huling bilang, aabot sa 98 na ang nakasuhan ng terorismo at/o terrorism financing, lahat ay kilalang aktibista, humanitarian, at church workers. These trumped-up charges impede them to continue their advocacy and serve the people disenfranchised by the state,” said Samsico.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruling declaring red-tagging a threat to life, liberty, and security is “a triumph for the Filipino people” so “we urge the Marcos administration to listen to the clamor to rightfully abolish NTF-ELCAC, do away with the military approach of solving the armed conflict, and fully implement treaties that guarantee human rights the Philippines are party to,” Samsico ended.

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