Group denounces red-tagging anew

PROGRESSIVE organization Movement Against Tyranny (Mat) in Northern Mindanao has condemned again over the weekend another attacks and red-tagging of peoples' organizations and human rights advocates by state agents in Cagayan de Oro City.

The group said the cowardly, malicious and false claims are desperate moves to crack down organizations that are critical to the present administration.

“Such cowardly activities aim to sow fear and misinformation among the public. The state forces are trying to condition the mind of the people to justify further attacks against these organizations,” Mat-Northern Mindanao said in a statement.

“And by doing so, the Duterte government shows its true face as number one violator of the constitutional rights of the people, hampering the people's freedom in articulating their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship or sanction,” it added.

The Mat-Northern Mindanao said a group calling itself “Movement Against Terrorism-Northern Mindanao,” which for them a malicious rip off of the name and acronym Movement Against Tyranny in Northern Mindanao, has released a press statement and two sets of fliers in the city to “obviously spread false and dangerous statements against different human rights advocates and people’s organizations in the region.

On March 26, Mat-Northern Mindanao said a Facebook account “Al Pac” sent to the Facebook page of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao- Northern Mindanao a press statement of the Movement Against Terrorism-Northern Mindanao Region which falsely enlisted a wide range of organizations as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA).

It included organizations of the youth and students such as the Anakbayan, League of the Filipino Students, National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Karatula; Progressive party-lists such as Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan.

It also include the indigenous peoples organizations and learning institutions like Kalumbay, Kalumaran, Tagtabulon, Suara Bangsamoro, Katribu, Alcadev, and TRIFPSS; and religious groups such as the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), RMP, and SAMIN.

Workers and urban organizations such as the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, Peasants group such as Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Misamis Oriental Farmers Association, Overseas Filipino Workers Migrante, group of human rights lawyers and teachers and the multisectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) were also included on the list.

Last March 28, the group said a security camera footage showed a grey car throwing out pieces of papers as it passed by the Bayan-Northern Mindanao office which were found to be fliers showing dead bodies and a message of condemnation of the NPA on its 50th year.

“At the bottom of the fliers was a message to MAT-Northern Mindanao, IFI and RMP to scamming the people into joining and supporting the armed rebels in the countryside,” the group said.

Another set of fliers were also distributed at the Provincial Capitol grounds of Misamis Oriental were evacuees from Sitio Camansi, Lagonglong town have camped out due to militarization in their community.

The fliers were containing statement declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front and the alleged supporting organizations as Persona non Grata. On top of the organizations enumerated in the press release, Bayan Muna and the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro Social Action Center were also included, the group added.

The same fliers were also scattered around the vicinity of Camaman-an Elementary School around 8 a.m., Friday, March 29, the president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in Northern Mindanao reported.

“This shows a clear disregard of a school being a zone of peace. It also deliberately aims to spread misinformation among students and teachers about activists, human rights defenders, and advocacy groups whose only crimes are promoting the rights and interests of the Filipino people," the MAT-Northern Mindanao said.

“Amidst the fear and misinformation brought by martial law, the people of Northern Mindanao will continue to fight for the truth, justice and genuine peace,” it added.


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