We condemn the red-tagging on Facebook of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines director Reynard Magtoto and Gabriela local leader Jen Nagrampa, who have been accused by anonymously-run page Green Spark of being “kampon” or underlings of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
We believe this latest post is an attempt at retaliation for Magtoto’s Dec.30, 2023 report on fake New People’s Army surrenderees and on how some — activists and citizens — were made to sign declarations of surrender under false pretenses of government aid distribution or under duress.
While inconvenient to the government narrative on surrenders, providing additional information and context to these are within both Magtoto’s duty as a community journalist and his exercise of press freedom.
Magtoto was subjected to surveillance while working on the story. He was also called to a meeting with the military on his activities with NUJP, which they called a “sectoral front organization” despite recent claims by the Department of Justice that linking legal organizations to the CPP-NPA-NDF is not a government policy.
Under the Marcos Jr. administration, NUJP recorded 20 incidents of red-tagging against journalists and media outlets and organizations.
Like Magtoto, the majority of those red-tagged published stories critical of the government, or that veered away from the official narratives.
NUJP is a legal organization that works for press freedom and for media workers’ welfare and has been doing so since 1986.
Malicious labeling by government agencies, officials and their affiliates intrudes on our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of association, of the press, and of expression.
The continuous red-tagging puts the security of journalists at risk, and should not be taken lightly.
We challenge the Marcos Jr. administration to disband the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to prove that red-tagging is not a policy.
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