Criminalizing the practice of red-tagging – which is basically the vilification of dissent and of critical reportage – is up to Congress and there have been attempts to define the act in law.

What Mr. Malaya and the NTF-ELCAC cannot deny is that red-tagging is a malicious imputation that damages the subjects’ reputations and is an act that can and has put them at risk of harassment and worse.

The only reason we do not sue these red-taggers for libel is our principled belief that libel should be decriminalized in the first place.

Victims of red-tagging have filed civil instead of criminal suits and will continue to seek avenues for redress precisely because the Philippine government cannot even acknowledge that these happen.

Calling attention to the practice in international fora and with international bodies is among those avenues.

Mr. Malaya can quibble all he wants but the practice has been documented by the UN Human Rights Office, the Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Karapatan and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates.

Many of these groups have themselves been red-tagged and will attest that it happens.

Mr. Malaya can claim that red-tagging is not government policy, but actions by government agencies, officials and affiliates – including his resorting to again claiming that subjects of red-tagging are affiliated with the CPP-NPA-NDF in an NTF-ELCAC post denying the practice – show otherwise.


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