‘Not taking this sitting down’: Angat Pinas NGO slams Lorraine Badoy for red-tagging claims

July 8, 2022 - 2:40 PM
Angat Pinas_launching
First board meeting of Angat Pinas, Inc. as presided by its chairman, former vice president Leni Robredo, in Quezon City in this photo posted on her Facebook page on July 1, 2022. (Facebook/Atty. Leni Robredo)

“We are not taking this sitting down.”

Non-government organization Angat Pinas, Inc. denied the claims of a former NTF-ELCAC spokesperson about the org being supposedly backed by communists and recruiting the youth to join the rebels.

In a television appearance on Monday, Lorraine Badoy, a former official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, claimed the NGO and its chairman, former vice president Leni Robredo, are working overtime to recruit communist rebels.

A video of this was shared by her half-sister, Gang Badoy Capati, on Twitter.

“Here’s the video. Reposting for documentation,” part of her post said on Thursday.

Gang previously responded to a now-deleted tweet featuring the video with a woozy face emoji.

The video has been making rounds on Facebook as well.

“They really are ano, working overtime with their recruitment, Angat Buhay ni Leni Robredo…” Lorraine said.

“Mga kababayan natin ano, the people behind the Angat Buhay is CPP-NPA-NDF. In fact, there are now in social media, mga nanay na naghahanap ng mga anak nila na wala na, wala na. Hindi na nila makita at ito ‘yung sumali ng Leni Youth so…” she added.

CPP-NPA-NDF refers to the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The NGO refuted Lorraine’s claims in a statement released on Friday.

“We strongly condemn and unequivocally deny the allegations made by Lorraine Badoy against Angat Buhay last 04 July 2022 in a cable television program. Her claims are utterly baseless and completely false, and worse, encourage the harassment of our staff members, volunteers, and partners,” Angat Pinas executive director Raphael Magno said.

“As soon as our attention was called to the matter, we referred the same to our lawyers who are now in the process of preparing possible legal actions to protect the integrity of our organization and our work and, more so, to protect our volunteers and partners,” he added.

Magno assured their supporters and said they are “not taking this sitting down.”

“We will not allow these efforts to sabotage our work to prosper. The time to stand up to fake news and hold its purveyors to account is now,” he continued.

“We will continue our work as a private, non-government organization to empower marginalized communities and sectors. Our work is beyond personalities and politics. Our work is about fundamental values. Our work is about leaving no one behind,” Magno added.

Last month, Robredo’s camp said it is eyeing to file a lawsuit against disinformation spreaders on social media after her term ends.

Tsek.ph previously reported that Robredo was the top target of online disinformation before the 2022 elections.

Robredo has repeatedly denied having supposed links to communists and said she does not form alliances with anyone using force to further their agenda.

“‘Yung mga talagang kilala ako, alam na hindi ako naniniwala sa dahas para solusyonan ang anumang problema. Alam na tutol ako sa sinumang pumupulot ng armas para maggiit ng sariling agenda,” she said last March.

“Hindi ako makikipag-alyansa sa mga ganun or sa mga naniniwala dun. Priority ko ang magtrabaho sa mapayapang paraan para sa dignidad ng bawat tao, ang empowered and responsible exercise of freedoms, at ang fairness,” Robredo added.

“Alam ‘yan ng lahat ng katrabaho ko, kasama na ang mga nasa uniformed services, na mukhang sila ang tinatarget ng mga ganitong disinformation at propaganda,” she further said.

Red-tagging is defined by the Supreme Court as the following:

“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’.”

An academic publisher defines it as “a form of harassment or persecution of a person identified or suspected as a communist sympathizer.”

Lorraine has been previously sued for red-tagging groups and individuals for claiming they are communists and/or backed by communist rebels.

The Commission on Human Rights warned that the practice of red-tagging “violates the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence and may have serious implications on the security and movement of individuals and groups involved.”