Without naming names, presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo called officials of the government’s anti-insurgency task force “irresponsible” for linking her to the pro-communist movement in the country.
In a media interview in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Robredo warned the public of the dangers of red-tagging.
“Kaya sinasabi natin na sobrang delikado—kaya sinasabi natin na sobrang delikado kapag ang isang government agency ay nagre-release ng mga statements na walang basehan (That’s why we’re saying it is dangerous—it is dangerous when a government agency releases statements without basis),” Robredo said.
“Kasi hindi nila nare-realize na ine-endager nila iyong buhay ng mga binibigyan ng paratang na wala namang basehan (Because they don’t realize that they are endangering the lives of those they are accusing without basis),” she added.
This was after presidential aspirant retired Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., the former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), questioned Robredo’s remarks that she will abolish the anti-insurgency task force if she wins.
Parlade, who is now running for president under the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP) party, is known for red-tagging not only Robredo, but senators, celebrities, and community pantry organizers, and other personalities.
President Duterte, in an interview with pro-administration vlogger Banat By, also called Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. pro-communists.
Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy also called the Vice President a “traitor,” “joke,” and an alleged “ally” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
For her part, Robredo said there is no reason to be concerned if a head of a government agency will be more responsible in his mandate and data.
“Pero kung may mga nagli-lead sa isang government agency na ganito ka-irresponsible sa pagparatang, eh dapat talaga tayong mag-isip many times over (But if there are leaders of a government agency that are this irresponsible in accusing, we need to think many times over),” she added.
Robredo shrugged off Parlade’s seeking the presidency too, saying he has the right to join the 2022 elections.