Stop ‘red-tagging’, support aid organizations — bishop

Stop ‘red-tagging’, support aid organizations — bishop

By CBCP News

November 18, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Instead of red-tagging aid organizations, the government should strengthen engagements with them, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the auxiliary of Manila, said that faith-based institutions and humanitarian and development organizations should be encouraged and supported.

“They are doing what the government cannot do, or they do better, faster and with less wastage than what the government is mandated to do,” he said.

The prelate deplored the inclusion of at least 50 organizations, including several church groups, in the government’s list of alleged “communist front organizations”.

Among those in the list are the Caritas Australia, Caritas Austria, Caritas Belgium, Caritas Switzerland, and the Diocesan Social Action Action Center of Kalibo.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Save the Children Foundation, Bread for the World, Oxfam International, Swedish Red Cross, Mercy Relief, were also red-tagged.

The prelate said it is “inherent” to churches and aid groups to provide help to everyone who are in need regardless of political and religious beliefs.

“We do not ask a victim of a calamity if he or she is a communist before giving assistance,” he said.

According to him, red-tagging has been the practice of the military and police institutions to persons and institutions who expose their rights abuses.

“Stop the practice of red-tagging! If their intelligence, if they have one, indicates that a person or a group is engaged in illegal activities, then bring them to court rather than flaunting their name as supporting communist terrorists,” he said.