Karapatan condemns the vigilante-style harassment and red tagging of activists, rights workers in Ifugao

"This is reminiscent of the situation under the Cory Aquino regime, when military-backed vigilante groups are doing the dirty work of counter-insurgency," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said in reaction to reports of posters found in Ifugao province signed by a certain "Ifugao People's Council" labelling leaders of people’s organizations and partylists, including human rights worker Jude Baggo, secretary general of Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, as members of the New People's Army (NPA).

"This time, under the regime of Cory's son, Noynoy, this form of harassment continues," Palabay added. 

Posters with the heading "Rupa Ken Nagan ti NPA nga Agsuswledo" (Faces and names of the New People's Army receiving salaries) were spotted on February 26, 2014 in markets and waiting sheds in different municipalities in Ifugao. 

"This is alarming because this form of labelling often leads to graver human rights violations such as killings, illegal arrests and disappearances. Many activists had been subjected to different forms of rights violations after being red-tagged," Palabay said. "If anything untoward happen to these victims of political persecution, should they be subjected to graver threat or their rights to life and liberty violated, we will hold the BS Aquino government accountable," Palabay warned. 

Baggo, with Katribu National Chairperson Beverly Longid, Cordillera Peoples Alliance regional staff member Emerson Soriano, Makabayan leaders Liza Maza, Teddy Casiño and Satur Ocampo, National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel Luis Jalandoni and Prof. Jose Maria Sison were tagged as 'enemies of the people'. 

Baggo was again labelled as 'NPA brains'. In October 2012,  the 5th Infantry Division and 86th Infantry Battalion came out with a Target List, where Baggo was also named as "Utak ng NPA" (Brains of the NPA).

“These acts of political persecution and the continuing practice of target or order of battle lists by the military are among the human rights violations that persist under Noynoy Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan, to silence human rights defenders and political activists,” Palabay said, referring to Karapatan’s documentation bearing 63, 077 victims of threats, harassment and intimidation by state security forces under Aquino. 

Karapatan called on Pres. Aquino “to stop the redtagging and political persecution of activists and to put an end to Oplan Bayanihan.”