DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Malicious flyers continue to spread and distributed in different areas in Cagayan de Oro, reports from concerned groups and individuals said.
From the previous list containing the names of religious leaders, human rights lawyers and a media practitioner with an alleged link to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA), the flyers now associate government officials and an immersion program of a local university to the communist rebels.
“We vehemently condemn this malicious, slanderous, and groundless red-tagging against some XU (Xavier University) personalities and one of our well-established immersion programs,” said Fr. Roberto Yap SJ, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan president in a statement posted in the university’s website on Friday.
The university statement said the flyers were printed in long bond papers placed in two boxes that were discovered during the opening program of a photo exhibit inside a mall in the city last week.
Local mall security seized the said boxes to prohibit the distribution of copies, it said.
“This propaganda is devoid of any semblance of truth and substance. We must be critical and discerning in our news and information consumption, especially with those which were propagated and distributed through disreputable modes and channels,” he added.
Various groups have already condemned the distribution of said flyers, saying its circulation was the handiwork of state forces and agents as the papers can be considered as the government’s “hit list.”
Top officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Northern Mindanao have already denied the accusation.
Yap described the incident as an “orchestrated effort to intimidate the faculty members and undermine the programs of Xavier Ateneo.”
As the continuing red-tagging seemed unstoppable in the area, Yap assured the Xavier Ateneo community, including their students, faculty members, administrators, staff, parents, and alumni that the management is closely looking at the safety and security of the university.
“No evidence exists that our university, programs, and activities are currently exposed to any grave threat,” he added.
Yap added: “From this experience, we encourage everyone to be more vigilant now more than ever and to continue to think critically of the state of our nation.
He also asked for unity for the exercise of academic freedom and in pursuit of truth and speaking truth to power to build a healthier and more effective democratic society. (davaotoday.com)