(Photo credit: SALiGAN sa CSSP Facebook Page)
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns the red-tagging of our member and former director Cong Corrales in posters red-tagging a community pantry in Cagayan de Oro.”
Posters red-tagging the volunteer project were put up at the site of the Kauswagan Community Pantry accusing UP instructor Rene Principe Jr.—the pantry’s organizer—and others of membership in the communist party.
One poster claimed Corrales supports the community pantry “because for him it is a project of the communist party.”
The Kauswagan Community Pantry has stopped operations because of the red-tagging. Aside from the closure of the pantry, the allegations put those named in the posters in danger like many others previously red-tagged by the government or by anonymous accusers have been.
Corrales, who has repeatedly denied persistent red-tagging allegations, wrote about the community pantry in Mindanao Gold Star Daily, where he is an editor. A screenshot of his Facebook post sharing that story was included in the poster.
Corrales said his inclusion in the posters may be meant to bolster the narrative that the pantries are communist-led and to stop journalists in Cagayan de Oro and nearby areas from writing about the community pantries.
NUJP calls on Cagayan de Oro authorities to investigate the incident and bring those responsible for the red-tagging to account. It also calls on them to ensure the safety of not just Corrales but of the volunteers at Kauswagan Community pantry and at other community pantries in the city.
Often used to discredit and harass, the strategy of red-tagging accuses individuals or organizations deemed as critical of government of being left-leaning, subversives, terrorists or communists. Membership in the communist party is not illegal in the Philippines.
While the state may see the spread of these community pantries as a threat, mutual aid in times of crisis is not subversive and writing about these initiatives can never be a crime.
22 April 2021