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No need to criminalize 'Red-tagging' – Senate panel report

No need to criminalize 'Red-tagging' – Senate panel report

MANILA, Philippines — There is no longer a need to criminalize Red-tagging in the Philippines since there are already legal remedies available to an aggrieved party.

This recommendation was contained in a 66-page report of the Senate committee on national defense that investigated the alleged Red-baiting by the military.

The report was signed by 13 senators, including panel head Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Risa Hontiveros, who signed with dissent.

“Legal remedies, as exhaustively discussed in this Committee Report, are sufficient and available for personalities or groups that have been the subject of the so called ‘red-tagging,’ and which some of them have already availed as evidenced by the cases filed in the Ombudsman,” the report said.

“Being merely a concept without a definite meaning set within the bounds of the law on the one hand, and the presence of adequate legal remedies available to the aggrieved party on the other, this committee is of the view that criminalizing ‘red-tagging’ is no longer necessary since those who were or may be at the receiving end of red-tagging may avail of the legal remedies under existing laws if the alleged red-tagging violated their constitutional rights,” it added.

Aside from Lacson and Hontiveros, those who signed the report were Senators Francis Tolentino,  Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Manny Pacquiao, Lito Lapid, Sonny Angara, Ramon “Bong” Revillar Jr., Cynthia Villar, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Sherwin Gatchalian, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senate President Pro Tempore  Ralph Recto.

The panel report has yet to be brought for plenary discussion.

KGA