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Bambi frowns over red tag on journalists

MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vicente Emano on Monday frowned over the spate of red tagging incidents here even as he called it a “unfair practice.”

“Just because a person or group advocates human rights, it does not mean that they support the communist movement,” reads part of Emano’s statement released by the capitol. “These are people whose passion for equal rights are strong and only wish for government to hear their sentiments and stand.”

Emano issued the statement in response to the recent red tagging of Cagayan de Oro-based journalists Froilan Gallardo and Leonardo Vicente “Cong” Corrales, human rights lawyers and priests of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Emano added: “It is wrong to maliciously label them as terrorists only because of their advocacies in various fields of human rights work.

“As an unwanted result, individuals and organizations who have been red-tagged are vulnerable to various forms of harassment including death threats and violence. These are least of what we want for our people who are innocent.”

Emano said red tagging not only affects the freedom but could also have serious implications on the security and movement of individuals and groups falsely linked to or accused of being communist rebels.

He said those who engage in red tagging should show “uncontroverted proof” first before any person or organization is identified as a supporter of the underground movement.

Emano said, “A person or group is presumed innocent unless adequately proven and if indeed they have affiliations with the communist rebels, it should be proven in fair and competent courts.” (HG)

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