DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Independent think-tank IBON Foundation on Monday has filed an administrative complaint against government officials for red-tagging.
IBON filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations and now Southern Luzon Command chief Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr, Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.
IBON, represented by Executive Director Sonny Africa and IBON Board of Trustees Chairperson Bishop Solito Toquero, accused Parlade, Badoy, and Esperon for malicious abuse of authority and negligent of duties, exhibiting conduct that is grossly disregardful of the public interest, politically biased, unresponsive to the pubic, distorting nationalism and patriotism, and undemocratic.
The policy research group cite that the they violated the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 6770) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713), in what they claim as the first case against any government official for red-tagging.
The complaint comes two weeks after an episode on One News’ The Chiefs was broadcast, where Badoy accused the 41-year-old institution as being a communist front. IBON research head Rosario Guzman presented its own fact-checking of the government data cited by the Duterte Legacy campaign.
“IBON formally wrote the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and National Security Council (NSC), as well as had a meeting with the latter, to ask for the so-called evidence for the allegations. However, despite repeated requests, the AFP and NSC have refused to provide anything while purportedly showing these to media, diplomats, government agencies, and even private sector groups,” read the complaint.
IBON, however, said the three officials have been red-tagging them for over a year now.
It cited the diplomatic missions to Europe in February 2019 where members of the National Task Force to End Local Communism and Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) accused IBON along with other human rights and activist groups as “fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (NPA).
The government had tagged CPP and NPA as “terrorists.”(davaotoday.com)