The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Thursday said the incidents of red-tagging in the country are “worrisome.”
In a virtual press briefing, CBCP Vice President and Caloocan Bishop Pablo David said it brings back memories of being under authoritarian rule decades ago.
“I think there is a reason for people to be afraid when that becomes a trend. It sort of brings back to memory the times when we were under authoritarian rule. We are in a democracy. In a healthy democracy, it is good to question policies like this,” he said.
“It is becoming worrisome. Definitely,” added David.
The prelate said this is also the reason why they came up with an earlier statement on the anti terror law.
“This was one of the reasons why we came up with that statement. It is the fear of the exaggerated response to the move to address terrorism that might compromise the human rights of people,” David said.
He said a group of bishops in Western Visayas also came out with their own pastoral statement.
“It had to do with the killings in Western Visayas. Much of which are also related to red-tagging. We expressed solidarity with our brother bishops in a statement that was publicly supported by the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA),” said David.
“We also heard of the Catholic universities that had been called breeding grounds for communists. It was really ridiculous. Ridiculous. We are glad that these universities banded together and came out with a collective statement in order to question that kind of red tagging,” he added.
The issue of red-tagging was among those discussed by the bishops during their two-day virtual plenary assembly held from January 26 to 27.