Karapatan slams NTF-ELCAC’s red-tagging overdrive, Sara Duterte’s possible DepEd portfolio under Marcos Jr.

Photo by Michael Varcas/Philippine Star

Human rights alliance Karapatan slammed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) its “red-tagging overdrive” targeting student walkouts as well as books amid protests expressing discontent over the results of the recent 2022 national elections.

“Just days after Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio have both declared their so-called ‘victory’ in the 2022 national polls, it is business as usual for the NTF-ELCAC — the mad cabal of Rodrigo Duterte, Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Lorraine Badoy-Partosa, Alex Monteagudo and other personalities — who are on overdrive at their vilification and serial red-tagging,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

Palabay scored Duterte’s recent statements red-tagging progressive party-lists for the nth time, as well as those of Esperon and NTF-ELCAC Acting Spokesperson for Legal Affairs Flosemer Chris Gonzales maligning and threatening those who organize and join protests expressing discontent on the outcome of the elections, especially the youth and students who organized rallies and public gatherings.

“It is delusional for these people to expect that the possible ascension to Malacañang of families of thieves and mass murderers will be morally and politically acceptable for those who have been victimized by and who struggled against political repression and plunder throughout the years,” the Karapatan official asserted.

She added that “these NTF-ELCAC fascist boomers insist on respecting the outcome of the elections while they constantly undermine international human rights standards on electoral processes — including the right to freedom of expression and to exercise public participation in the elections in various peaceful ways. They want the removal of progressive lawmakers in Congress to silence any opposition to their sinister plans, and for the youth to be docile and meek fence sitters, instead of being active change-makers.”

Palabay also strongly criticized Badoy-Partosa and Monteagudo for their recent posts maligning and red-tagging Adarna House, which published children’s literature including those on the Marcos’ martial law regime.

“Adarna books are produced by renowned and multi-awarded Filipino children’s book writers and illustrators. Their books on martial law are humble contributions to enlighten our youth about the atrocities experienced by thousands during that period. In contrast, these unhinged NTF-ELCAC people are among those who made possible the seeming Marcos comeback and Duterte restoration — because they thrive on fear- and dangerous rumor-mongering, historical distortions and lies, and are intolerant of critical thinking and dissent,” Palabay added.

With Duterte-Carpio’s possible appointment as Department of Education secretary, books being produced by Adarna, as well as efforts by victims, historians and the education sector in countering disinformation on the martial law regime become even more important, she continued.

“Duterte’s possible education secretary stint is expected to bring a tsunami of further fake news and disinformation — if not censorship — on the realities in contemporary Philippine history, especially during the Marcos Sr. and Duterte Sr. regimes. We should do all we can to contend with the further miseducation of young Filipinos,” Palabay said.

The Karapatan official reiterated her call for the public to remain vigilant against all forms of pushback against our rights and freedoms.

“The Marcos-Duterte tandem means a human rights crisis that can potentially be far worse than their fathers’ regimes. Let us hold fast to our aspirations and struggle for democracy and justice,” she concluded.