“Hindi kami nag-reredtag dito sa Baguio.”
Mayor Benjamin Magalong gave this assurance during a recent dialogue with several cause-oriented groups to address their sentiments on allegedly being red-tagged, exposed and vilified on social media.
The Commission on Human Rights has described ‘red-tagging’ as the act of accusing individuals or groups of being communists.
The group of activists, including students, said they felt ‘unsafe’ in the Summer Capital as they were harassed online because they were falsely linked to communist rebels.
“We assured them that here in Baguio they are safe and told them that we are going to undertake measures to assure their safety and that of their families,” the Mayor said.
He added that the issue on the group’s vilification on social media will also be looked into by the police and other concerned authorities.
As chair of the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council, the Mayor directed the Baguio City Police Office under Col. Glenn Lonogan to take down any tarpaulin or poster that implies or implicitly ties local activists to the communist movement and its military arm, the New People’s Army.
The Mayor disclosed that he will also request for a review of how the Cordillera’s anti-insurgency program has been implemented.
During the dialogue, he acknowledged the ‘evil’ that red-tagging does to the psyche of individuals, especially the young.
“Red-tagging robs people of their dignity, especially if these actions are designed to destroy a person’s or organization’s reputation,” the Mayor said. – Gaby B. Keith