‘Let’s not tolerate’: ABS-CBN reporter raises alarm over Twitter user red-tagging journalists

December 21, 2022 - 3:42 PM
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Mike Navallo
Mike Navallo reporting for ABS-CBN in this photo posted on his Facebook on Aug. 3, 2020 (Facebookjobert.navallo)

A journalist shared a reminder about red-tagging after a Twitter user implied he is a “supporter” or an “urban operative” of the communist insurgency.

ABS-CBN justice beat reporter Mike Navallo denied claims of an individual who shared a screengrab of his Twitter bio with an in-line text that reads:

“CCP-NPA-NDF Supporter or their Urban Operative representing the media?”

The user also wrote the following as its caption: “CPP-NPA-NDF urban operative right?”

The screengrab of Navallo’s Twitter bio included an arrow pointing to one of his profile descriptions which mentioned the non-profit organization National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Mike Navallo_tweet
Screengrab from Twitter

Navallo responded to the tweet by saying that he is not a supporter of the CCP-NPA-NDF. It stands for the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“For the record, I am not a CPP-NPA-NDF Supporter. Neither am I their ‘urban operative,'” he wrote on Tuesday.

“Being a member of @nujp, just like being an ‘Isko,’ does not make you a supporter of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” the reporter added.

“Isko” is short for “Iskolar ng Bayan” which commonly refers to students of state universities. It is popularly associated with the University of the Philippines, Navallo’s alma mater.

He also appealed to his followers to “report” the Twitter user for “harassing journalists.”

“Red-tagging kills. Let’s not tolerate it,” Navallo added.

NUJP, which he is part of, is among the entities constantly being red-tagged by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The org is a lateral guild dedicated to advancing the interests of the Filipino working press while simultaneously promoting free expression and free press.

It is composed of working Filipino journalists and media practitioners in the country and overseas who are committed to promoting their fellow journalists’ rights and welfare, upgrading their professional skills and advancing full exercise of the freedoms of expression, association, and right to information.

Meanwhile, 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’.”

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

Some of those who have been gunned down after being accused of being communist rebels were activists and human rights advocates Zara Alvarez, Ryan Hubilla, Jory Porquia and Chad Booc.