Screengrab of PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy during the Senate virtual hearing for the PCOO’s budget
This was the reaction of Nonoy Espina, president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) when asked to react to the claims of Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy that cases filed against her by the NUJP and other groups were dismissed by the Supreme Court (SC) “for lack of evidence”
“NUJP has not sued anyone over red tagging,” Espina said in an interview with PressONE.ph.
Badoy claimed during the PCOO’s budget hearing at the Senate that the SC dismissed “for lack of evidence” cases filed against her by the NUJP, Gabriela, Rural Missionaries.
“Just in case red-tagging is brought up, I’d like to inform you that we were actually brought to court by the NUJP, Gabriela, Rural Missionaries up to the Supreme Court, the ruling was that there is no…the threat is not real, and it is based on amorphous grounds,” Badoy said.
Badoy also claimed that the SC supposedly stated in its ruling that “membership into organization red-tagged is not an actionable threat.”
“That red-tagging is really actually a word that the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) coined. It is not a real word,” she added.
Senator Richard Gordon, who was presiding over the PCOO’s budget hearing, instructed Badoy to submit to the Senate committee on Finance a copy of the supposed SC ruling she was citing.
Hearings on the PCOO’s budget at the House were suspended “until further notice” in September as lawmakers of the Makabayan bloc denounced Badoy’s red-tagging activities on social media
Badoy claimed, without proving any evidence that Makabayan bloc congressmen are “high-ranking officials” of the CPP-NPA-NDF. The lawmakers also called for Badoy’s resignation, who rejected it.
She, instead, challenged the six Makabayan lawmakers to denounce the communist rebels’ atrocities, as among the many conditions she set before she will resign.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, in his dissenting opinion in Zarate vs. Aquino III, cited a 2011 journal article that defined red-baiting as:
“the act of labelling, branding, naming and accusing individuals and/ or organizations of being left-leaning, subversives, communists or terrorists (used as) a strategy…by State agents, particularly law enforcement agencies and the military, against those perceived to be ‘threats’ or ‘enemies of the State’.”
Badoy has a history of red-tagging critics of the Duterte administration.
In an episode of One News’, The Chiefs, Badoy was interviewed along with Ibon Foundation executive director Rosario Guzman, to discuss the numbers behind Malacañang’s “Duterte Legacy” campaign.
When asked to react to the point raised by Guzman, Badoy, instead of debunking the numbers of Ibon Foundation, accused the research group as a front of Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army.
“Ibon is an above-ground organization of the CPP-NPA-NDF movement unless you’d like to deny that. There’s nothing that will ever come out that’s good about this government or any government from Ibon Foundation,” she said.
One of the show’s host, veteran journalist Ed Lingao, corrected Badoy stressing that both Ibon and the communist group are legal since the the anti-subversion law has been repealed.
However, this did not deter Badoy to further claim, without any evidence, that purpose of these organizations is “to overthrow governments.”
“You’ve been around 41 years but the CPP-NPA had been around for 51 years. And the end goal has always been to overthrow governments so nothing will come out of that you’ve ousted two presidents,” Badoy said.
When Badoy and Guzman started to have a heated exchange, the shows hosts told Badoy to get back on the topic of the show.
“We wanted a discussion, as you yourself said, on the Duterte Legacy. What Ed is basically saying is let’s get this back on track. Because we will not allow this show to be highjacked to a different topic,” co-host Roby Alampay said.
Watch the clip of the show here:
She also claimed, without presenting any proof, that activitst nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan, vice president for external affairs of St. Scholastica’s College, is a “long-time ally” of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Her statements were fact checked and debunked. Rommel F. Lopez