Baguio diocese decries ‘red-tagging’ of bishop

Baguio diocese decries ‘red-tagging’ of bishop

Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio. DIOCESE OF BAGUIO

By CBCP News

November 26, 2020

Manila, Philippines

A northern Philippine diocese has decried the “red-tagging”, or labelling of its own bishop as communist or terrorist.

In a statement issued Nov. 25, the Diocese of Baguio clarified that Bishop Victor Bendico has no link with any “right-wing or left-leaning groups”.

“We ask those posting on Facebook to stop red-tagging our bishop,” said the diocese’s spokesperson Fr. Rosito Pedro, Jr.

The diocese was reacting to certain social media posts red-tagging the 60-year-old bishop, who is also an advocate for the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples.

It said the Facebook posts accused Bendico of being a supporter of an organization, “which he does not personally know and dealt with”.

While the diocese advocates justice and peace, Fr. Pedro said they are doing their mission in accordance with Catholic doctrines and social teachings.

“(We) never (promote) ideologies that sow disunity and sabotage peace,” he said.

Red-tagging in the Philippines had become rife, especially against human rights groups that documented alleged abuses by state forces.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) has repeatedly condemned the continued red-tagging o f church people and organizations.

The religious leaders warned that labelling church workers and human rights advocates as fronts of communist rebels puts them at risk to abuses and extrajudicial killings.

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