The word war between Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte and the Makabayan bloc continued to rage on Thursday, Aug. 11, after one of the militant lawmakers referred to Duterte as the new “red-tagging queen".
Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel lambasted the Vice President during a presser for alleged role in red-tagging activists and progressive groups.
“Siya ngayon ang (She is now the) primary figure head dahil unemployed na si Lorraine Badoy eh tila ba siya na ang pumalit para maging (because Lorraine Badoy is now unemployed and she replaced her as the) red-tagging queen sa ating bansa (in our country),” the lawmaker said, referring to former National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Badoy, who had become infamous for red-tagging even celebrities and volunteer workers.
Lawyer Reynold Munsayac, Duterte’s spokesman, maintained that the Vice President was merely saying the truth about the Makabayan bloc, who the latter had linked to the Communist Party in the Philippines, National Democratic Front, and New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) in a previous statement.
“Kagaya po nang nasabi na ng ating (Like what was said by) Vice President Inday Sara Duterte, ang pagsasabi po ng katotohanan ay hindi (telling the truth is not) red-tagging,” he said in a statement.
‘Palagi din po siyang may panahon na sabihin ang katotohanan ukol sa (Also, she will always have the time to tell the truth about the) Makabayan bloc upang tuluyan na mawakasan ang kanilang panlilinlang sa sambayanan, lalo na sa sektor ng kabataan (to finally end their deception of the public, especially the youth sector),” Munsayac added.
Manuel questioned the supposed miscommunication between government agencies since National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos stated the government does not condone red-tagging while Duterte does the opposite.
“Gusto kong itanong ‘yung ating (I want to ask our) government officials ba ay nag-uusap usap para magkaroon ng (do they discuss about having a) united na tindig (stand) against red-tagging kasi hindi dapat palampasin ang ganitong (because we shouldn’t allow this) brazen stance ng isang komisya ng pamahalaan (of a commission of the government),” the rookie lawmaker said.
He claimed that the Vice President leads the way in red-tagging operations, which include distributing posters and tarpaulins.
Manuel’s remarks came on the heels of the arrest of former Akbayan Party-List Rep. Walden Bello, who accused Duterte as the one behind the libel charges filed against him by former Davao City Information Officer Jefry Tupas.