CAGAYAN DE ORO

Oro teacher, another ‘red-tagging victim’

A PUBLIC school teacher in Camaman-an Elementary School has been tagged yet again as a “communist teacher”.

Ophelia Tabacon of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Northern Mindanao said on September 12, she saw flyers posted on a wall outside her school accusing her along with photographs of other human rights advocates in the region.

The flyers implicated her as a “maestra komunista (teacher communist)”. The flyers also state that Ophelia is exploiting minors and molding them to become communists.

The flyers insinuated that Ophelia’s son, “Sigfyl Tabacon” is a “lider sa teroristang NPA (leader of the terrorist New People’s Army)” and “imong umagad nga si Kristin Lim (and your daughter-in-law Kristin Lim)”.

“Ophelia Tabacon, her family, and all the names in the flyers are in grave danger due to the irresponsible, cowardly, and malicious red-tagging of the perpetrators. Accusing Ophelia of being an NPA combatant puts her at risk of extrajudicial killings and other forms of violations on her right to life and liberty. Ophelia and her organization has consistently advanced teachers’ rights and welfare with the help of government agencies. Ophelia also sits in the Department of Education grievance desk to cater to issues of teachers and public school personnel,” the ACT party-list said in a statement.

The group said this is an attempt to shrink the democratic space by silencing critics.

“We call on all peace-loving citizens and leaders and human rights advocates to help in all efforts to stop the red-tagging and harassments of human rights defenders in the region. Anyone with information on the red-tagging activities should forward this to the concerned individuals and their organizations to help in preventing any untoward incidents that may occur on these persons and their organizations,” the group added.

At least two Cagayan de Oro-based journalists--Cong Corrales and Froilan Gallardo--were also accused by unknown groups of being sympathizers or members of the communist movement.


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