End ‘kill, kill, kill’, red-tagging, NTF-ELCAC, anti-terror law–Ka Leody on protecting human rights

Published April 3, 2022, 11:01 PM

by Seth Cabanban

To protect human rights in the Philippines, labor leader and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) presidential candidate Leodegario ‘Ka Leody” De Guzman seeks to end the acts of extrajudicial killing, red-tagging, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and the Anti-terror law.

Ka Leody De Guzman (Screencap from Comelec livestream)

“Inabot na natin ang sibilisadong lipunan, tapos na yung barbarismo na sitwasyon ng unang panahon. Hindi pwede yung ginagawa ng kasalukuyang gobyerno na ‘Kill, Kill, Kill’ ang kanyang mga patakaran hinggil sa mga bumabatikos sa kanya (We are now in a civilized society, the barbarism of the past is done. This current government’s ‘kill, kill, kill’ policy against critics cannot continue),” said De Guzman during the Comelec presidential debates on Sunday, April 3.

The Duterte administration’s signature “war on drugs” has resulted in the deaths of at least 8,000 people, with some speculating that it could be as high as 20,000 to 30,000–resulting in heavy criticism from human rights groups.

“Hindi pwede ang red-tagging, hindi pwede ang NTF-ELCAC (We must stop red-tagging and the NTF-ELCAC),” he explained.

The NTF-ELCAC is an arm of the government formed to counter the communist rebellion in the country. Red-tagging is a tactic used by the NTF-ELCAC to accuse individuals communist-terrorist affiliation with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

It is often used to discredit and even incite unbased legal action against activists, protesters, opposition politicians, and even journalists.

De Guzman says that institutions like the NTF-ELCAC are used as foundations and justifications to abuse human rights.

“Dapat din i-repeal ang Anti-terror law dahil yan ay nagiging mitsya o nagiging tuntungan para i-justify yung paglabag ng mga kapulisan ng mga Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ng karapatang pantao (The Anti-terror law should also be repealed as it becomes a stepping stone to justify human rights violations by the police and AFP),” he concluded.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on July 2020 the Anti-terrorism act of 2020. The law which sought to replace the Human Security Act and counter-terrorism expanded the definition of terrorism, saw the creation of the Anti-Terrorism Council, while other provisions include limited detention without a judicial warrant and increased surveillance.