UN rapporteur wants clarification on NTF-Elcac's alleged 'red-tagging'

UN rapporteur wants clarification on NTF-Elcac’s alleged ‘red-tagging’

/ 12:48 PM January 25, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations special rapporteur visiting the country wants further clarification about the “red-tagging” accusations hurled against the anti-communist task force, according to its chief.

Undersecretary Ernesto Torres, the executive director of the NTF-Elcac, on Thursday, said UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion Irene Khan raised the question during a dialogue held on Wednesday as part of the official’s two-week visit.

READ: UN rapporteur on freedom of expression arrives in PH


“She would like to get further information on the red-tagging issue because as we all know, even abroad, NTF-ELCAC is being equated unfairly to red-tagging,” Torres said, partly in Filipino, during a press conference.


“She would like to hear more from us as to what we are doing to prevent such things from happening,” he also said.

Torres said the NTF-Elcac will address Khan’s concern in a proper venue.

“Recognizing the constraints of time, Ms. Khan has expressed a desire for further clarification in an additional meeting,” Torres said. “We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to address any outstanding issues and reinforce the collaborative dialogue that has defined this visit.”

Torres, however, stressed that the NTF-Elcac has no policy of “red-tagging,” which refers to an act of branding individuals or organizations as supporters or members of communist armed groups without discernible proof.

“We can categorically state that we have no policy on red-tagging,” he said.

READ: DOJ: Gov’t has no red-tagging policy


Torres claimed the term red-tagging was “used as a tool” by the Communist Party of the Philippines and its affiliates “to demonize the efforts of the government in exposing [its] duplicity.”

However, former spokespersons of the NTF-Elcac during President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration had received flak over red-tagging several individuals, which included activists, lawyers, judges, and even celebrities.

READ: Ombudsman finds ex-NTF-Elcac execs Parlade, Badoy guilty of red-tagging 

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However, the NTF-Elcac, under the current administration, changed its aggressive tack to become what they termed “bringers of peace.”

TAGS: UN rapporteurs

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