There is no danger to life when a person is tagged as a communist, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy said on Thursday.
In a press conference, Badoy disagreed with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who earlier said that tagging an individual as a member of the CPP, its armed wing the NPA, or its political arm the National Democratic Front (NDF) is dangerous.
She also claimed that red-tagging does not exist and is being “weaponized” by communists.
“We also find it unfortunate that no less than a Justice Secretary seems ignorant that our Supreme Court has ruled, in Zarate vs. Aquino, that there is no danger to life, liberty, and security when you are identified as a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” she said.
However, Badoy agreed with Guevarra that people should not be identified as a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF “if we do not have solid proof that they are.”
This developed as Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) may seek to “embarrass” President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during his incoming term.
“We could surmise that the CPP-NPA and its cohorts actually have the intent to cause embarrassment to President-elect Bongbong Marcos,” he said.
“Right from the start, these leftist groups always do this regardless of who sits as President,” he added.
Año said the national government, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the NTF-ELCAC were prepared for any scenario, considering that Marcos is set to hold his inauguration on June 30 at the National Museum of the Philippines.
“We will not allow any group to conduct any various activities, much more to discredit the incoming administration. We will do it all within the legal bounds of the law,” the Interior secretary said.
The PNP also said protest rallies will not be allowed in areas near the inauguration of Marcos Jr. and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte in Davao City this weekend.
Police spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo said law enforcers expect demonstrations during the oath-taking of Duterte at the San Pedro Square in Davao on June 19, and of Marcos at the National Museum of the Philippines on June 30, GMA News reported.
Protesters may only conduct their activities in designated areas, such as freedom parks, the official said.
Malacañang meanwhile said it was “unsure” if bloggers would be allowed to cover Marcos Jr.
Palace spokesperson Kristian Ablan said Malacañang had a policy on accrediting bloggers since 2017.
“We have had an existing social media blogger accreditation policy since 2017 when I was still with Asec. Mocha Uson.
But we did not accredit any blogger because no one applied. We do not know if any blogger will cover the coming inauguration,” Ablan, in an ABS-CBN report said.
Badoy reiterated that progressive groups such as Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and Gabriela are communist fronts and are “top recruiters” of the youth “into violent extremism, protectors, and purveyors of terrorism.”
NTF-Elcac will continue with its mandate until the “complete destruction” of CPP-NPA-NDF, Badoy said.
Former members of the communist groups said their old comrades are planning to muddle the oath-taking ceremony of Marcos Jr. on June 30.
In a media briefing, former rebels Orlando “Ka Warly” Baluyot, now chair of Tinang Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Ka Pong Sibayan, a farmer from Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac said the communist groups have started organizing farmers in their province.
They said aside from Hacienda Tinang, officials and members of CPP-NPA-NDF legal front organizations have also been meeting with farmers from nearby Hacienda Murcia and Barangay Central inside Hacienda Luisita.
He said farmers from these areas are now organized by the front groups.
Some members of left-leaning organizations are often seen coming to those areas as they want the people to fight the government, Baluyot added.
He said aside from the areas in Tarlac that they have named, different front organizations are also busy mobilizing groups from various towns even using youth members in their propaganda.
Meanwhile, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile bared on Wednesday there is a conspiracy to pillory Marcos in an attempt to taint his reputation.
Enrile said the information came from “credible” sources, saying certain groups from the United States and the Philippines areallegedly conniving to embarrass Marcos.
While not elaborating on the alleged plot, Enrile said he would provide further details to the “proper official” of the incoming Marcos administration “in due time.”
Enrile also advised the incoming security officials of the Marcos administration to intensify and sharpen their intelligence gathering.
PNP director for operations Police Major General Valeriano de Leon earlier said the local government units have yet to issue permits for any protest actions during the said inaugurations.
Protesters would be arrested if they obstructed traffic and damaged government property during their rallies, PNP officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Vicente Danao Jr. said.
A gun ban in Davao Region and Metro Manila will be in effect from June 16 to 21 for Duterte’s inauguration, and from June 27 to July 2 for Marcos’ inauguration, respectively.
The PNP said it will deploy around 8,000 cops for Marcos’ oath-taking.
Ablan added that “whether or not bloggers will be allowed to the event, is already the jurisdiction of the incoming administration,” under Sec. Trixie Cruz Angeles and Sec. Zenaida Angping.
Marcos earlier designated Angeles and Angping as his incoming press secretary and head of the Presidential Management Staff, respectively.
Angeles earlier said that she would push for the accreditation of bloggers in Malacañang.
Marcos also said he would “continue vlogging as President so that the public can be updated about his administration straight from the horse’s mouth.”