Malacañang said that President Duterte does not want law enforcers in the country to be publicly red-tagging any individual without evidence and reminded them to just do their job quietly and according to the law.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after netizens called out Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), for warning both actress Liza Soberano and former Miss Universe Catriona Gray about involving themselves with progressive groups.
Parlade, a military official known to red-tag government critics, likewise wondered if Manila Mayor Isko Moreno welcomes terrorists in the country’s capital after he ordered the removal of anti-terrorist tarpaulins in the city.
In his Monday presser, Roque said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has already expressed President Duterte’s thoughts on the issue when Lorenzana talked to law enforcers.
“The President has spoken through Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when he warned both police and military authorities to be careful in red-tagging,” he said.
In fact, Roque said that Lorenzana told the government forces to not make baseless accusations or name suspected communists publicly.
“No need to publicize kung sino ang mga suspected communist. Just do their job without publicity.
“Keep quiet, ‘yan po ang polisiya na sinabi ni (that is the policy stated by) Secretary Lorenzana which he made for and behalf of the President,” he added.
Roque said that law enforcers should do their job quietly and according to what the law says.
“Ang sabi po ni Secretary Lorenzana eh ‘wag kayo mag-red-tagging kung wala kayong sapat na ebidensiya at manahimik na lang (Secretary Lorenzana told to not red-tag without enough evidence and to just keep quiet),” he said.
“Kung meron kayong pinaghihinalaan (If there is anybody you suspect), proceed with your surveillance and if you have evidence then file the appropriate criminal complaint,” he added.
Last week, the Palace defended the AFP after Parlade made his “warning” to Soberano and Gray, saying the government is just warning them about their advocacies being used by communists.