National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson for sectoral concerns and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy (File photo)

MANILA – National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson for sectoral concerns and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy on Saturday stood firm on her statement that “there’s no such thing as red-tagging”.

This, after Lawyer Edre Olalia, president of the National Union People’s Lawyers (NUPL), said the Supreme Court (SC) has never called “red-tagging” as non-existent.

Badoy remained unfazed saying that Olalia is just confusing the public to protect the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

“He says it’s not true that our Supreme Court says there is no danger to life, liberty, and security when one is identified as a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Badoy said in a statement.

Badoy reiterated that the SC ruling stated that the “mere labeling of a group as a communist front is not an actual threat to one’s right to life, liberty, or security,” as she rebuked Olalia for literary interpreting her statements to make her wrong.

"Edre Olalia claims I was wrong when I said that the Supreme Court ruled that the terrorist tool to silence those who tell the truth about the CPP-NPA-NDF, ‘red-tagging’, is non-existent,” she added. “He says it’s not true that our Supreme Court says there is no danger to life, liberty and security when one is identified as a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”

Badoy said the NUPL is directly connected to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s front mass underground organization Lupon ng mga Manananggol para sa Bayan (LUMABAN)— in relentlessly “overthrowing the government.”

“In other words, NUPL’s main goal is to recruit and radicalize those who are in the legal profession to join the CPP-NPA-NDF. The vast majority of its members have no idea that it is a terrorist organization behind the NUPL and that they are slowly being lured and manipulated to hate and mistrust the government. Until one day they wake up bearing arms as violent extremists of the NPA or as someone whose promising career took a dive so he now lawyers for NPAs like Edre Olalia does,” Badoy added.

Badoy emphasized that it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens from harmful activities of communist terrorist groups (CTGs), including the recruitment of youth to the armed struggle.

“And we do this by telling the truth about their fronts like NUPL - and KABAG (KABATAAN, ANAKPAWIS, BAYAN MUNA, ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS, GABRIELA). Olalia also does all that he can to protect the fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDF -- no matter how farfetched and ridiculous,” she said.

“Like bending himself in whole body contortions to make what the Supreme Court said in such a clear and straightforward manner mean what the CPP-NPA-NDF wants it to mean so they can continue to protect their fronts because those despicable fronts are the lifeblood of this terrorist organization,” she added.

Badoy said the government has to respond against the communist group's efforts to recruit the most vulnerable sectors, such as indigenous peoples and youth, to engage in violent extremism.

“We would like to reassure our countrymen that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict is fully committed to destroying the CPP-NPA-NDF,” she said.

She reiterated her previous statement that “there’s no such thing as red-tagging.”

Filed against Badoy were several criminal complaints on alleged red-tagging, and violation of the Anti-Graft Law and the code of conduct for public officials.

Badoy said she remains undaunted, adding that she is more eager to uncover the masks of the communist group's members.

“We are more relentless about the Truth than they are about their lies and we are louder about the Truth than they are about their lies,” she added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)