Media group files raps vs. gov’t officials for red-tagging

Published December 18, 2020, 3:56 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The officials of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) have once again been slapped with a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for red-tagging media organizations and its members and linking them to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

(Altermidya Network)

Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, and Executive Director Allen Capuyan were charged in a complaint for violations of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Meanwhile, they are also the object of administrative charges of Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, Oppression, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, and violation of Executive Order 292.

The complaint was filed by Altermidya – People’s Alternative Media Network Inc. Acting Chairperson Rolando Tolentino, Alipato Media Center Inc. represented by Bulatlat Managing Editor Ronalyn Olea, Kodao Productions Organization Inc. Executive Director Jola Diones-Mamangun, and Pinoy Media Center Inc. represented by Pinoy Weekly Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Roland Guda on Friday.

On May 12, 2020, Parlade issued a statement “Reds freeride on ABS-CBN issue” and called Altermidya, Bulatlat, and Kodao as “long-time cohorts of the CPP in the media,” “creations of the CPP,” and “stooges” of CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison.

During the hearing on red-tagging by the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation on December 1, Capuyan presented charts containing the purported organizational structure of the “CPP Propaganda Machinery,” and the complainants’ names were included.

Meanwhile, Badoy was accused of naming Bulatlat and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) as being fronts and terrorists.

The complainants said that the constant red-tagging of the respondents have placed their lives in danger. One such example is the illegal arrest of journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, a member of Altermidya in Panay and five other human rights defenders in Tacloban City on February 7.

“The actions of respondents have directly or indirectly emboldened other state agencies and personnel to baselessly and maliciously label members of alternative media organizations as ‘propagandists’ of alleged ‘communist terrorists,'” the complaint stated.