Bishop backs bill criminalizing red-tagging

Bishop backs bill criminalizing red-tagging

By CBCP News

March 26, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Decrying the prevailing ‘culture of impunity’, a Catholic bishop touted a bill Friday that aims to define and criminalize red-tagging.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said he supports the measure to stop the labelling of people or groups as communists or terrorists that had become rife.

“I wonder if this will be passed into a law but I support this bill if only to end red-tagging and the prevailing culture of impunity,” Alminaza said.

Filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, the measure seeks at least 10-year imprisonment for those found guilty of red tagging.

Under Senate Bill 2121 or the proposed “Act Defining and Penalizing Red-tagging,” the convict will also be disqualified from holding public office.

Red-tagging in the country is the practice of branding people, usually activists and dissenters, of being either members of sympathizers of communist rebels.

Alminaza stressed that a healthy democracy “should allow space for dissenting voices and critics”.

“The increasing number of human lives lost due to this practice – lives we value as sacred – can no longer be restored nor compensated and its negative consequences should never be tolerated,” he said.

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