Red-tagging fatal to free expression
I appreciate the pockets of relative sanity that persist within the security sector, that are apparently more sensitive to such principles as professionalism and accountability.
There are critical questions that remain urgent but unanswered, however, especially considering the sector’s unabated red-baiting: What were the bases of J2 for including us in the list? What are the objectives for drawing up that list to begin with? Would this be to facilitate military targeting? What is the official thinking guiding the generation of these lists, and their use? Does the military still have dossiers on the political activities of conscientious Filipinos dating back to the 1970s and 1980s?
My family and I continue to feel threatened and insecure on account of my inclusion in the said list. Weighing heavily on my mind, however, and on the minds of my fellow University of the Philippines alumni wrongly listed, is what this portends for Filipino activism. If this could be done to us, how much easier could a similar outrage be inflicted upon our countrymen who do not have the same access to media and legal resources, including ordinary students and their teachers?
Not only is red-tagging a breach of international humanitarian laws and a direct threat to our right to security, it is also fatal to the free expression underpinning our democracy.
Rafael A.L. Aquino, UP Political Science, UP Law, member, FLAG, senior partner, SPASLAW
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