VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Badoy is wrong; PH courts did not say ‘red-tagging’ is nonexistent

Read this fact check in Filipino

Reacting to the condemnation by four senators of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Director General Alex Monteagudo’s “red-tagging” of the Senate employees’ union, Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy falsely claimed that Philippine courts already ruled that there is “no such thing as red-tagging.”

STATEMENT

Badoy, also the spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), stood by the claim of Monteagudo. Citing the Court of Appeals (CA) decision on Karapatan et al. vs. Duterte et al., she said the court already ruled that “there is no substantial evidence” to establish the human rights groups’ red-tagging accusations:

“Petitioners here alleged that they were viciously red-tagged as front organizations of the CPP-NPA-NDF which puts their life, liberty, and security at risk.”

Badoy went on saying:

“How is it possible that our own legislators ignore what the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court have already made clear: that there is no such thing as ‘Redtagging’ because there is no danger to life, liberty and security when someone is identified as 'member of the CPP NPA NDF'?"

Source: PTV News, Press Statement of NTF ELCAC Spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, April 7, 2021 (Archived)
FACT

Although the CA decision, penned by Associate Justice Mario Lopez, indeed said there is lack of “substantial evidence to establish the petitioners’ allegations” against the government’s violation and threat to their rights to life, liberty, security, and privacy, among others, nowhere in the ruling does it assert there is no red-tagging.

Promulgated on June 28, 2019, the CA ruling dismissed the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data filed by human rights groups Karapatan, Gabriela, and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines due to the absence of judicial affidavits, failure to “demand prior investigation” on alleged violation or threat, and failure to show that their right to privacy was violated by the respondents.

Following the killing of community health worker and activist Zara Alvarez on Aug. 17, 2020, Karapatan urged the Supreme Court (SC) in September to speed up the resolution of the petition. The case has been pending for review since July 2020.

Red-tagging or red-baiting refers to the “act of labelling, branding, naming and accusing individuals and/or organizations of being left-leaning, subversives, communists or terrorists (used as) a strategy … by State agents, particularly law enforcement agencies and the military, against those perceived to be ‘threats’ or ‘enemies of the State’.” (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Why ‘red-tagging’ is dangerous)

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Secretary General Edre Olalia, in an April 7 Facebook (FB) post, said Badoy was taking the decision out of context. He said:

“She got it all wrong and mixed up. SC never said that. CA ruling was pro hac vice and is in fact pending review by the SC … If she was a lawyer, she would have been disciplined for wrong attribution and erroneous citation for cherry picking out of context.”

Pro hac vice means that the ruling was used only “for this occasion.”

Meanwhile, writ of amparo is a remedy available to “any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee or private individual or entity,” according to a SC resolution in October 2007.

Writ of habeas data is a judicial protection from an “unlawful act” of a public official in the course of “gathering, collecting, or storing” information about the aggrieved person or party. (See VERA FILES FACT SHEET: The dangers of red-tagging under the Anti-Terrorism Law)

The Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (SENADO) said on April 9 that it was exploring legal courses of action against Monteagudo and Badoy for their "malicious" labelling and linking the union members to communist groups.

The red-baiting of SENADO came two weeks after Sen. Franklin Drilon filed a bill seeking to criminalize red-tagging, with imprisonment of 10 years and absolute disqualification from holding public office.

Badoy has been persistently labelling government critics, institutions, and media organizations as communists.

This is the fourth time that VERA Files Fact Check has flagged Badoy for her erroneous claims related to the CPP-NPA-NDF:


Sources

Senate of the Philippines, Joint Statement of Senate Minority Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Leila de Lima and Sen. Francis Pangilinan, April 7, 2021 (archived version)

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency website, About Us: Leadership

Director-General Alex Paul Monteagudo personal Facebook, The Senate of the Philippines is manned by CPP-NPA-NDF front organization…, April 5, 2021

Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 00067: Karapatan et. al vs. Duterte et. al.,, June 28, 2019

PTV News, Press Statement of NTF ELCAC Spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, April 7, 2021 (archived)

Court of Appeals Case Status Inquiry System, G.R. No. 00067: Karapatan et. al vs. Duterte et. al.,, June 28, 2019

Karapatan.org, Karapatan urges SC: grant the petition for review of amparo and habeas data amid worsening attacks on rights defenders, Sept. 1, 2020

Karapatan.org, Karapatan urges SC to grant petition for review on CA’s dismissal of rights groups’ amparo case, July 26, 2019

ABS-CBN News, ‘I might be killed’: Karapatan shows SC slain activist Zara Alvarez's 2019 affidavit seeking protection, Sept. 1, 2020

Rappler, Remember Zara Alvarez? Group urges SC to review protection order for rights activists, Sept. 1, 2020

CNN Philippines, Human rights defenders seek Supreme Court protection after Zara Alvarez killing, Sept. 1, 2020

NUPL President Atty. Edre Olalia Facebook, Re Badoy's claim that SC says there is no such thing as red-tagging, April 7, 2021

Merriam Webster, Pro Hac Vice

Supreme Court of the Philippines, A.M. No. 07-09-12-SC: The Rule on the Writ of Amparo, Sept. 25, 2007

Rappler, Senate employees’ union eyes legal action vs NICA chief, Badoy, April 9, 2021

GMA News Online, SENADO mulls next steps vs. NICA chief's red-tagging move, April 9, 2021

Inquirer.net, Senate workers’ union exploring legal actions after being linked to Reds, April 9, 2021

Senate of the Philippines, Senate Bill No. 2121: An Act Defining and Penalizing Red-tagging, March 24, 2021

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, READ l Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, NTF ELCAC spokesperson, in a rejoinder to a statement of SENADO…, April 13, 2021

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, LOOK | Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy’s statement during the Virtual Press Conference on the Simultaneous Anti-Crime and Law Enforcement Operations in CALABARZON, March 10, 2021

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, LOOK | Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy’s statement during the Virtual Press Conference on the Simultaneous Anti-Crime and Law Enforcement Operations in CALABARZON, March 10, 2021

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, BASAHIN | Ang mga representante ng Makabayan Bloc ay mga matataas na ranggong kasapi ng Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF)..., Sept. 7, 2020

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, READ | Statement of the NTF ELCAC Spokesperson, Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, on the Termination of the DND-UP Agreement of 1989..., January 20, 2021

Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy’s Facebook, CNN tweeting and retweeting the call for donations of LFS- a known front of the terrorist CPP NPA NDF, Nov. 13, 2020

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Official Facebook, READ | NTF ELCAC Spokesperson, Undersecretary Lorraine T. Badoy on Rappler’s ALCADEV school article..., March 4, 2021


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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