CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The City Council has formed a technical working group to craft an ordinance to protect personalities in the city whose lives are endangered after being red-tagged.

The proposal is pushed by Councilor Romeo Calizo, chair of the committee of police, fire and public safety, after personalities filed a petition to the local government unit urging them to address this matter.

Calizo said they are under the process of forming the working group that will conduct research on these incidents.

“We at the committee will choose the people who will comprise the TWG, preferably those who have expertise on legal and law enforcement concerns,” the councilor said.

Last Thursday they invited the personalities who made such petition.

Last month, Musni and other personalities including Aglipayan Bishop Felixberto Calang, met with CdO Mayor Oscar Moreno to present their petition.

Over the past few months, red-baiting propaganda had spread in Cagayan de Oro and neighboring cities, tagging Musni, Calang and other personalities from lawyers, church leaders, and journalists as supporters and members of the communist party and the New People’s Army. The propaganda was signed by a group called Movement Against Terrorism.

Musni, a member of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao, is grateful that the city government is taking the first step towards addressing this red-tagging of activists.

Their group’s proposal is to mandate barangay officials, as well as concerned citizens, to help identify persons responsible for the putting up of posters and materials containing statements accusing individuals or groups of links with communist rebels.

“If there is an ordinance penalizing red-tagging, it would greatly contribute to our human rights work, as it will protect the lives of civilians,” Musni said. (

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