No red-tagging vs. UE student journo: police

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

April 11, 2020, 5:48 pm

MANILA – The Philippine National Police in Cabiao dismissed the alleged red-tagging against Joshua Molo, the editor-in-chief of the University of East (UE) Dawn, who was allegedly forced to apologize by a teacher he had "offended" over an anti-government post.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Molo said no less than Maj. George Calauad Jr. of Cabiao PNP denied the allegation.

"I've had the opportunity to talk to the chief of Cabiao PNP, and he dismissed the allegations that he red tagged me (my ex-teacher said he did). Apparently, he even said to my former teacher that her accusations of cyber libel against me have no basis," Molo wrote on his Twitter account.

"According to him, the statement 'hayaan na lang yan mag-post nag mag-post para damputin namin' (let that kid post online so he can be arrested) was just made up by my former teacher to coerce me to do the public apology," he added.

Photo by Undersecretary Joel Egco

Molo noted that Calauad assured him there is no intention of arresting him "as there are no valid reasons to do so".

"He also said that they are planning to file an administrative case against my former teacher," the UE student said.

In a public post on April 9, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) chief Joel Egco released the videos of Molo and Calauad's meeting.

"Sa mga video pong ito malinaw at nilinaw ni Joshua na walang red-tagging ang mga opisyal sa kaniya at ang kaniyang ginawa ay paninindigan ko din pong naaayon sa kanyang freedom of expression. Ipinagtanggol pa nga siya ni hepe sa guro na gusto siyang kasuhan. Nilinaw din ni Joshua na ang kaniyang public apology ay hindi dahil sa kanyang critical opinion sa gobyerno kundi sa gurong kaniyang nakasagutan," he said.

(It is clear in these videos that no red-tagging was done against Joshua and that what he said is out of his own freedom of expression. He was even defended by the chief against the teacher who wants to sue him. Joshua also clarified that his public apology was not because of his critical opinion against the government but because of the teacher he called out.) 

READ: DILG supports UE editor’s right to free speech

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had earlier assured that the government has no intention of filing cases against the student, adding it respects the rights of Molo to express his opinion for or against the government.

According to reports, Molo was compelled to issue a public apology following a complaint filed by his former teachers concerning a series of online exchanges about the government's response to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

One of the teachers reportedly threatened to file a cyber libel case against the UE college editor. (PNA)