The death of heath officer Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin in Negros Oriental is a proof that the supposed state-sponsored red-tagging has “deadly consequences” and should be put to a halt, Makabayan lawmakers said Thursday (Dec. 17).
Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said they have been campaigning against red-tagging because of its “dire consequences.”
“Hindi ito simpleng labeling lamang. Ito po ay may dire consequences, deadly consequences in fact,” he told reporters in a press conference, after Sancelan, who heads the Guihulngan City Inter-Agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCIATF-EID), and her husband Edwin were gunned down on Tuesday. Sancelan was reportedly red-tagged by anti-communist vigilante group “Kagubak”.
(This is not just simple labelling. This has dire consequences, in fact.)
According to him, the government’s red-tagging spree resulted in the murder and assassination of those who were labelled as communists by the state forces.
“Nananawagan tayo na ihinto na ang ganitong klaseng action ng pamahalaan ng administrasyong Duterte dahil ito ay nagreresulta lamang sa mas marami pang paglabag ng karapatang pantao ng ating mamayan,” Zarate said, strongly condemning the murder of the Sancelans.
(We are calling on the government, the Duterte administration to stop this kind of action because this resulted in more human rights violations against our people.)
Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago also agreed with Zarate, saying that the death of the Sancelan couple proves “that red-tagging poses a clear and present danger to the lives” of those who were accused of having ties with communist groups.
For her part, Gabriela partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas sought a full-blown investigation of the incident, saying that heads must roll.
She said despite the snowballing killings in Negros province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) failed to investigate the so-called red-tagging list by the anti-communist vigilante group.
“Bakit hindi nila mapigilan ang state of lawlessness? Bakit wala pa ring nasisibak sa kanilang hanay?,” she asked.
(Why can’t they stop the state of lawlessness? Why is it that no one in the ranks was axed?)
“Sa ipinapakita nilang kapabayaan, mukhang complicit na sila sa mga patayan. Dapat magkaroon ng malawak na imbestigasyon dito. Hindi pwedeng wala na namang managot,” she added.
(For showing negligence, it seems that they are complicit with the killings. There should be a full-blown investigation on this. Someone must be held accountable.)