The “red-tagging” alibi
Alliance of Concerned Teachers Parytlist Rep. France Castro again denounced on Jan. 19 the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) for allegedly conducting “red-tagging” orientations in schools, citing the orientation that said task force delivered before students of the Philippine Science High School-Cordillera in Baguio City on Jan. 18.
Castro said the orientation contains vilification, red tagging, and terror-tagging of progressive individuals and organizations. She also demanded that such orientation be banned from schools.
Prior to Castro’s statements, youth organizations allied with the National Democratic Front have been circulating on social media that the NTF-Elcac’s orientation is a “red-tagging forum.”
Let me answer said statement with my view as a student who heard said orientation and a former member of an NDF-allied youth organization.
The term “red-tagging” surfaced only after the creation of NTF-Elcac in 2018. The NTF-Elcac orientation cited that no less than the late Communist Party of the Philippines founder identified organizations under the NDF as tools of the CPP-NPA to push their so-called “armed revolution.”
Former CPP-NPA-NDF members have attested to this truth.
With their true color being gradually unveiled before the public, these groups are left with no other recourse but to craft a campaign that will demonize the NTF-Elcac and elicit public sympathy. That is how red-tagging came about.
We should not be surprised if Castro and member organizations of the NDF are blabbering and insisting on such term, which is clearly an alibi or defense mechanism so that the public will remain blinded to their hypocrisy.
Look at how they deny being part of the CPP when they gave its founder a tribute when he died in December 2022 and even waved red flags to honor him.
They refuse to accept the already exposed truth about their role in a terrorist organization when there are a number of students who started in NDF organizations that ended up with the CPP-NPA and died. These are not coincidences. These are clear indications of the truth and proof that “red-tagging” is meant to again fool the public. Filipinos do not deserve to be fooled repeatedly.
Giving in to the demand of Castro and her allies is tantamount to making our students into baits that attract recruiters of the CPP-NPA. Thus, as an enlightened youth leader, I call on school officials to support the campaign to educate the students on the true and real danger posed by the CPP-NPA-NDF. — MIKAEL SORIANO, youth representative, Nagkakaisang Samahan Para Sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran