Government not engaged in red-tagging but 'truth-tagging,' says OSG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) – The Office of the Solicitor General has rejected the term “red-tagging,” preferring instead to use “truth-tagging” in the government’s practice of accusing activists of connections with leftist groups, as the Supreme Court resumed oral arguments on the Anti-Terrorism Act on Tuesday.

“The government would not like to use the term 'red-tagging'. Because red-tagging is a term that was not coined by the government, if I may say this, the term 'red-tagging' was used by the leftists,” said Assistant Solicitor General Marissa Dela Cruz-Galandines, as interpellations continued on the controversial law.

It was Galandines’ response to Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario question on whether the government can ensure that the controversial law will not “unduly and unlawfully” identify someone as terrorists based on suspicion.

Contrary to allegations, Galandines asserted that what the government does is “truth-tagging.”

“It is the submission is government that what it does is ‘truth-tagging’ and not red-tagging,” she said.

Alleged red-tagging by security agencies again cropped up after reports of profiling of organizers of the hugely popular community pantries. Two spokespersons of the national anti-communist task force were criticized for linking the community pantry volunteers and organizers to the communist movement.

The National Privacy Commission has flagged concerns on the alleged profiling of community pantries, while the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives sought for an investigation on the red-tagging of organizers.