Badoy, NTF-ELCAC unleashes deranged red-tagging spree amid widespread calls to free Dr. Naty Castro

Photo from Council for Health and Development

Lorraine Badoy-Partosa is at it again with — and predictably, she is now unleashing her deranged red-tagging antics not only against Dr. Maria Natividad “Naty” Castro, but even those who have expressed concern regarding her recent arrest.

Even the Department of Health’s (DOH) statement that merely asserted the presumption of innocence and the right of individuals to due process was not spared from Badoy’s unhinged red-tagging spree.

Badoy, as the mouthpiece of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), is not alone: joining her chorus of red-tagging is Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who went on to red-bait the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for investigating Dr. Naty’s arrest.

Clearly, however, Badoy, Año, and the NTF-ELCAC’s red-tagging against the statements of the DOH and the CHR only serve to divert the obvious and glaring lapses of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the unjust arrest of Dr. Naty and the trumped-up charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention lodged against her.

Dr. Naty was not served a subpoena on these charges before an arrest warrant was issued against her — hence depriving her of her right to due process and to pursue the appropriate legal remedies to dismiss these charges. Even the arrest warrant itself does not contain her name, the closest of which is a certain “Dra. Maria Natividad.”

Dr. Naty’s family has decried that the personnel who arrested her were not in uniform and did not properly identify themselves. That she was held incommunicado for a day, was denied access to her family, her legal counsels and medical doctors of choice, and was flown to Agusan del Sur without her family’s and legal counsels’ knowledge are glaring violations of her rights as a person under detention under the Constitution and our laws such as Republic Act No. 7438, as well as the PNP’s own operational procedures.

As we reassert our calls to free Dr. Naty, we support all the necessary remedies and processes to prove that the NTF-ELCAC’s charges against Dr. Naty are baseless, fabricated, and nothing more than plain and simple judicial harassment to vilify her renowned work as a community doctor and human rights defender.

Human rights work is not a crime — and Dr. Naty is not a criminal, much less a terrorist.

That vermin like the deranged Badoy and the NTF-ELCAC have the time and resources to manufacture lies against doctors like Dr. Naty in the middle of a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing short of abominable, and this only reaffirms our position that the NTF-ELCAC should be abolished.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General