Cong Corrales .
“‘The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable’” — attributed to Finley Peter Dunne, “Observations by Mr. Dooley,” 1902
MY family and I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the people who supported us when we found ourselves dastardly embroiled in a vilification campaign a fortnight ago.
We would like to thank our friends and relatives in the Armed Forces and National Police for their assurances to get to the bottom of the cowardly list of supposed members of the communist movement. You who did so without fanfare and communicated with us privately, thank you.
We also extend our gratitude to the support of local and Southeast Asian media community. You who issued statements and wrote news articles about the red-tagging, thank you. Even estranged friends came out and posted their support on their Facebook walls. It was a humbling experience. Thank you.
Red-tagging is one of the hazards any practicing journalist faces. So, you can just imagine how mortified I was when I saw that the cowards included my wife and son.
My wife, son, and I condemn the cowards who included us in the anonymous list of supposed Communist Party of the Philippines members here in Cagayan de Oro City.
We are not, have never been and never will be members of CPP.
My wife is a marketing executive with this paper where I am the associate editor. My son is a regular staff in the Commission on Elections in Region 10 and is currently serving in the commission’s city office. He is also currently studying at Xavier University College of Law. Our credentials are readily available.
We denounce this list as it is not only aimed to intimidate me in my work as a journalist but has endangered my family. We know full well that red-tagging is a virtual death sentence.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen cited a 2011 journal article which defined red-tagging as “the act of labeling, 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.’”
As if the red-tagging was not enough to mute me, trolls of a certain local political party rode on it for their own political ends — their comeuppance will come too.
On my end, I will not let this cowardly act push me to silence. I will continue speaking truth to power. I will continue to tell the story of the downtrodden, the marginalized, and voiceless people of the Republic.