Karapatan group files complaint vs gov’t officials for red-tagging

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2020   •   320

MANILA, Philippines – Karapatan group has filed a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman against government officials for red-tagging.

The human rights group on Friday (December 4) filed cases against the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) officials led by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

 The group said they also filed cases against NTF-ELCAC ex-officio member Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., Strategic Communications Cluster spokesperson Lorraine Badoy, and Deputy Executive Director Margaux “Mocha” Uson of the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration.

Karapatan lawyer Atty. Josalee Deinla said the government officials have repeatedly linked the group to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Mayroon tayong tinatawag na prinsipyo sa international humanitarian law. Hindi tinutiring na combantant ang mga sibilyan na kagaya nila. Sila ay mga unarmed activists at miyembro ng legal at above ground organizations (We have the principle in the international humanitarian law which states that civilians like them should not be considered as combatants. They are unarmed activists and members of a legal and above ground organization),” she said.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay reiterated they are human rights defenders and are not combatants. She also said that the red-tagging has endangered their lives.

“By tagging us as front organization, myself as a high supposedly a high ranking member of the CPP and NPA they are committing offenses under the said law,” she said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Senate panel to begin probe on alleged ‘red-tagging’ activities of military officials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2020

The Senate panel will begin its inquiry next week (November 3) on the alleged ‘red-tagging’ activities of military officials.

Senator Panfilo Lacson filed Senate Resolution No. 559 and will summon Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.

Parlade drew the ire of netizens after he warned actress Liza Soberano and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, against associating with the Gabriela Women’s Party-list, which he accused of having links with the New People’s Army.

Lacson said the resolution aims to resolve issues as well as draft guidelines to avoid misunderstandings between the military and the public.

The Senator will be inviting other officials from the Department of National Defense and the AFP.  

He added that the Gabriela Women’s Party-list and other militant groups will also be invited to the inquiry.

“We will also invite Gabriela and other militant groups para maliwanagan natin saan ba nag-uugat iyong misunderstanding at saka iyong conflict pagdating sa red-tagging, red-baiting, (to shed light on the root of the misunderstanding and the conflict when it comes to red-tagging, red-baiting)” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado).

Duterte appoints Mocha Uson to OWWA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2019

Mocha Uson, a blogger and avid supporter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte poses for photos during a protest rally against Vice President Leni Robredo at Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines, 02 April 2017. Supporters from different groups of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gathered in Manila to call for the impeachment or resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo. EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson as an executive of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Based on the list of presidential appointees released by Malacañang on Monday, the pro-Duterte blogger was appointed last Sept. 23 as Deputy Executive Director V or Deputy Administrator of OWWA.

OWWA is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment in-charge of assisting and addressing concerns of Filipinos with their foreign employers abroad.

She will be assuming the post vacated by Arnel Ignacio who resigned in February.

Uson resigned from her post in the Presidential Communications Operations Commission (PCOO) in October 2018 to run as a party-list representative in the May 2019 midterm elections.

Prior to her appoint to the PCOO, she had a brief stint as a member of the Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) in January 2017. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)   

Esperon: PH to add five lighthouses and aerial vehicles in West Philippine Sea this year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2019

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon has reiterated their plan to construct five lighthouses and add aerial vehicles in West Philippine Sea this year.

“Our fisheries boats, coast guard ships and of course the navy and air force have strengthened [and] improved their capability to have more control over our domain which is the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

He also said that resolving the issue on the West Philippine Sea dispute through a diplomatic way is their priority.

“We have not abandoned any island, no island was taken from us since 2016, and we are strengthening our positions and possessions.”

Esperon also clarified the president’s statement when he said China is ‘in possession’ of some areas in the West Philippines.

“I think the President said—did not say that they are in possession, but they are in position,” he said. “So they have the positional advantage right now. And they have the equipment to enforce their position.”

However he agrees that China has strengthened their position in several disputed territories.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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