STATEMENT | Red-taggers should be held accountable

Sep. 11, 2023
Journalist Atom Araullo (left) and Atty. Tony La Viña (right). (Photo courtesy of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines)

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines stands with Atom Araullo as he files a P2-million civil suit against red-taggers Lorraine Badoy-Partosa and Jeffrey Celiz.

We support fellow journalists like Araullo who seek redress for damages and injury they have suffered due to the defamatory statements maliciously disseminated by these vicious red-taggers.

Red-tagging poses serious risks to the safety and security of those unjustly labeled as “communist-terrorists,” “communist propagandists,” and the like.

This dangerous narrative is used to justify arrests, trumped-up charges, surveillance and other forms of harassment against human rights defenders, including journalists.

Targets of red-tagging also experience mental and emotional stress over being falsely accused and over worrying about their safety and security.

Some of our colleagues have had to relocate, affecting the important work they do, and the communities they serve.

Red-tagged journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio is still in jail over fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and financing terrorism.

Araullo’s complaint adds to the list of legal actions filed by our other colleagues to exact accountability from the enemies of the truth.

Independent media outfits Altermidya, Bulatlat, Kodao and Pinoy Weekly, and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa previosly filed separate administrative charges against Badoy-Partos over her malicious labeling.

The complaints are pending with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Cagayan de Oro-based journalist Cong Corrales also filed a petition before the Data Privacy Commission earlier this year to unmask anonymous Facebook accounts that have repeatedly targeted him.

Under the Marcos Jr. administration , NUJP has recorded 19 incidents of red-tagging.

NUJP and some of our officers have been repeatedly red-tagged for defending press freedom and free expression.

We call on the media community and the public to stand with red-tagged colleagues and reject the narrative being peddled by Badoy-Partosa, Celiz and their sidekicks.

This practice has to stop. It’s time for these malign red-taggers to face the full force of the law.

National Directorate
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)

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