At a Senate hearing, Makabayan bloc lawmakers urged the government anew to hold people in state security forces engaged in red-tagging activities accountable.

This came after the Duterte administration’s security forces tagged them as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), and described them as “terrorists” by different Facebook pages of local police and military detachments.

“Instead of understanding us and respecting our role as citizens and members of Congress, we have become subjects of trumped-up charges and intense red-tagging and terror-tagging,” said Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate.

Echoing Zarate’s statement, Kabataan Party-List Rep. Sarah Elago said: “We have repeatedly reminded the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), PNP (Philippine National Police), to the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) that the right to speech is guaranteed. Mr. Chair, Senate President, sa lahat ng naririto, kailangang may managot.”

Progressive leaders and activists challenged security officials to back their claims of red-tagging with “credible proof” that can stand in court, rather than just rely on mere witness statements.

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