Police stations in Benguet, Cebu reuse 2018 editorial cartoon to imply teachers are rebel recruiters

February 15, 2021 - 12:38 PM
Screengrab of a graphic shared by Tuba Municipal Police Station on its Twitter account on April 21, 2020. (Photo from @PNPTuba via Twitter)

A graphic posted by some local police stations on social media implied that teachers supposedly recruit students to join communist rebels.

The graphic in question previously appeared on the social media pages of the Tudela Police Station in Cebu and the Tuba Municipal Police Station in Benguet.

It featured an illustration of a teacher giving a book to a student but a shadow of them shows the former as a rebel giving a rifle to the latter.

PNP graphic red-tagging teachers
Screengrab of a graphic red-tagging teachers from Tudela Police Station in Cebu. (Screengrab by source via Interaksyon)

In the Tuba Municipal Police Station’s post, it featured the tagline “Stop the deceptive recruitment” and “Hands off our children.”

It also bore a watermark indicating Benguet Police Provincial Office.

Meanwhile, the alleged recruiters were pertained to be the CPP-NPA-NDF.

CPP stands for Communist Party of the Philippines while NPA stands for its armed wing, the New People’s Army.

NDF stands for National Democratic Front, the political arm of the CPP.

PNP graphic red-tagging teachers as communists
Screengrab of a graphic red-tagging teachers from Tuba Municipal Police Station in Benguet. (Screengrab by Interaksyon)

Red-tagging teachers

A Reddit user who claimed to be a son of a high school teacher said that the post was “really infuriating” as it red-tagged teachers.

The graphic has been taken down by the Tudela Police Station as of this writing after it earned criticisms from Filipinos online.

“My mom and dad are teachers. And ito na nga ang sabi namin. They’ll red tag everyone na against the admin. F*ck the police. F*ck this administration. May araw din ang mga responsible sa state natin na nararanasan natin ngayon,” another Reddit user commented.

“Teachers give answers to the questions students have. The powers that be don’t want the youth questioning them and demanding answers. They want yes-men that goes ‘yes, sermam,'” another online user wrote in response to the graphic.

The graphic turned out to be an editorial cartoon which was repurposed by the police station a social media post. It was previously published under the “Commentary” section of a news publication in December 2018, accompanied by an opinion piece of Concept News Central titled “CPP-NPA child recruitment foiled.”

The original editorial cartoon also bore the signature of the artist who made the illustration along with the date: 12/2/2018

The academic community has been red-tagged by the police and the military several times.

Last month, Lt. General Antonio Parlade Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief, accused some universities in the metro—which included top-ranking ones—of allegedly being “recruitment havens” for NPA despite having no evidence.

School administrators denounced his claims and said that they do not “promote nor condone recruitment activities” of the communist rebels.

READ: Four universities reject accusation of Maoist rebel recruitment on campus

Some graduates of the University of the Philippines were not spared as well.

In the same month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Information Exchange through Facebook accused some of UP’s alumni who supposedly became NPA members that were “dead” or have been “captured” by government forces.

Six of the alumni countered these claims and mulled to filing cyber libel and contempt charges against the military following the red-tagging.

In 2018, Parlade also accused 18 universities and colleges—some of whom he has recently accused this year—of allegedly inciting students to rebel against the government through film screening activities as part of a “Red October” plot to oust the president.

These were all denied by the educational institutions.

A fact-checking organization warned that red-tagging “can lead to warrantless arrests, torture, enforced disappearances, or extrajudicial killings” in its worst form, based on a 2012 study by the International Peace Observers Network (IPON) Philippines.

The ploy has also been “used to justify attacks and harassments against activists and government critics,” according to Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers.