Women’s rights group Gabriela Women’s Party disowned the tarpaulin that was spotted in a photo of the recent arrest of alleged communist rebels in Quezon City.
A report from SMNI News, the broadcasting arm of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, posted photos of some items the police had confiscated following the arrest.
One of the photos showed two tarpaulins supposedly from Gabriela and Bayan Muna.
TINGNAN | Anim na mga opisyal ng CPP-NPA-NDF, nahuli ng mga otoridad sa Quezon City.
Narekober din mula sa mga rebelde ang iba’t-ibang pampasabog, pera at paraphernalia ng Gabirela Women’s Party at Bayan Muna Partylist.
— SMNI News (@smninews) November 16, 2021
Gabriela on November 17 reacted to this and pointed out the spelling error on the tarpaulin’s slogan, saying: “Para sa Babe.”
The group’s slogan is “Para sa Babae, Bata at Bayan.”
“’PARA SA BABE?’ We scoff at the recent news of fake election paraphernalia planted among the items of alleged communists arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP),” Gabriela said.
“We categorically disown the tarpaulins with the slogan ‘Para sa Babe, Bata at Bayan,’ as such slogan digresses from our original slogan ‘Para sa Babae, Bata at Bayan,’” it added.
The women’s rights group perceived this blunder as PNP’s attempt or “gimmick” to red-tag them again.
Gabriela, Bayan Muna and other leftist groups had often been associated with the communist rebellion by the current administration.
“These red-tagging gimmicks, while not new, seek to place the lives and safety of our members and leaders on the line. We strongly condemn these publicly funded gimmicks and assert our firm stance against red-tagging and fake news,” Gabriela said.
“We will explore possible legal remedies once we get hold of the facts and circumstances,” it added.
In a separate tweet, the group shared an edited photo of 1998 film “Babe: Pig in the City.”
In its version, the group replaced the suitcase in the original poster with the table where the tarpaulin was laid out.
“Para sa BABE, BATA AT BAYAN, tuloy ang laban! Ganito ba?” Gabriela wrote.
— Gabriela Women’s Party (@GabrielaWomenPL) November 16, 2021
A youth chapter of Gabriela later supported the women’s rights group in its criticism against the supposed fake tarpaulins.
The Gabriela Youth UP Manila also posted photos of its members where it held up signs with the hashtags #BabaeAko and #LabanAko.
“BABAE KAMI, HINDI BABE! Mariing kinukundena ng kabataang kababaihan mula Gabriela Youth UPM ang tahasang panlilinlang at pagtatanim ng gawa-gawang ebidensya ng PNP-AFP laban sa Makabayan bloc, kabilang ang Gabriela Women’s Party!” the youth group said.
The photo with the tarpaulins, however, could not be found on the post PNP released on Facebook about the arrest.
In the post, newly-installed PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos announced that six suspected members of the communist rebellion were apprehended in simultaneous operations in Quezon City and Bulacan.
They were caught by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group under PMGEN Albert Ignatius D Ferro.
“The arrested personalities will be presented in court for the various criminal charges lodged against them. Likewise, we will be filing against them new charges of violation of RA 10591, RA 9516 and other appropriate charges,” he said.
The tarpaulins in question were also not among the seized items listed on the post.
The PNP chief said that the cops found them during the police operations.