Karapatan: Red-tagging/terrorist-tagging of journalists violate people’s right to info, press freedom

It seems that, for the NTF-ELCAC’s deranged attack dog Antonio Parlade Jr., news reports that expose brazen human rights violations are mere empty propaganda  — never mind that these are reports about real victims with real narratives of suffering at the hands of State forces and the terror law being rabidly defended by the likes of Parlade and his devilish cabal of red-taggers.

And while it could’ve been easy to laugh off Parlade’s trollish Facebook posts, his threats against Inquirer.net reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas — especially in him posing the possibility of charging her through Duterte’s terror law for her report — is a serious and perilous threat not only against her, but also against each and every journalist covering human rights issues and concerns.

It also, rather clearly, shows the true intent of the terror law: to clamp down on our freedoms, and to threaten anyone that stands in the way of this fascist regime.

This is hardly the first time a journalist was red-tagged or terrorist-tagged for reporting the military’s abuses — which speaks of the fact that the military’s berserk rampage has also singled out journalists and media organizations, such as Inquirer.net’s Gabriel Pabico-Lalu and veteran journalist Nestor Burgos Jr. of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and alternative media groups Bulatlat, Altermidya, and Pinoy Weekly.

The military and the NTF-ELCAC’s red-tagging carnival of horrors have already been exposed and discredited for their lies and desperate machinations for mass deception, and their red-tagging spree against journalists is another dangerous act that adds on to the already dismal state of press freedom in the country.

Karapatan stands with journalists and media workers in asserting the people’s right to information, especially on people’s rights violations, and the freedom of the press to report these cases without fear of threat and reprisal. We urge them to stand their ground and resist these threats from Parlade and the NTF-ELCAC. These threats, too, ultimately prove the urgent need to junk Duterte’s terror law.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General