Stop red-tagging opposition, start tax-cutting on fuel—Makabayan

The Makabayan Coalition has underscored their call to stop the act of red-tagging, and to start implementing tax cuts to counter the fuel crisis during a press conference on Monday, March 14.

Makabayan Bloc logo (Photo from Wikipedia)

They alleged that the administration had taken more interest in red-tagging the opposition in the upcoming 2022 elections instead of countering the massive fuel price hikes.

“Dinudukot at tinatangkang patayin ang mga kampanyador ng Makabayan, pati mga ‘kakampinks’ nirered-tag (There are attempts to kidnap and kill Makabayan campaigners, even ‘kakampinks’ are being red-tagged),” said Gabriela Women’s Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas.

On Sunday, March 13, there was a failed attempt on the life of progressive-transportation leader and Bayan Muna coordinator Larry Villegas in his General Santos home.

Meanwhile, there have been attempts to red-tag supporters of VP Robredo’s presidential campaign. One instance of this were the allegations made against attendees of VP Robredo’s Cavite rally by a Cavite solon.

“We are calling for Duterte to call for a special session of Congress to finalize its approval. Ang problema, red-tagging sa halip na tax-cutting ang inaatupag ni Duterte (The problem is that he’d rather red-tag than cut taxes)," Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said, referring to HB 10488 which seeks to suspend the excise taxation on petroleum products.

Only President Duterte can call a special session during the House recess held in respect to the 2022 elections on May 9, thus hindering the House from convening over HB 10488.

Under the 2018 Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, petroleum products are subject to excise taxation which currently stand at P10 per liter on gasoline, P6 per liter for diesel, and P5 per liter for kerosene.

A “crucifying” fuel price hike was reported to take place on March 15: diesel prices are projected to jump by P11.75 to P11.95 per liter; RON95 gasoline to increase P7.10 to P7.30 per liter; RON92 to go up P6.85 to P7.00 per liter; and kerosene to shoot up P9.60 to P9.75 per liter.

Present at the press conference were Bayan Muna solons Gaite, Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat; Gabriela Rep. Brosas; ACT-TEACHERS Party-list Rep. France Castro; Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago.