A 2022 presidential bet reiterated that she will never ally with groups and individuals using violence to push their agendas amid continuous attempts to red-tag her and her team.
Vice President Leni Robredo once again denied claims that she has ties with communist rebels after a now-deleted post associated her and her eldest daughter with Joma Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Malinaw ang motibasyon ng walang tigil na pangre-redtag sa akin at sa mga volunteers natin: Ang pigilan ang momentum ng anting People’s Campaign,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
“Tandaan natin, nagsimula ito noong naging sunod-sunod ang pagdagsa ng mga tao sa ating mga People’s rally—a para bang ‘di makapaniwala ang iba na puwedeng magkaisa ang karaniwang Pilipino sa ngalan ng pag-asa,” Robredo added.
“Uulitin ko: Hindi ako makikipag-alyado sa kahit sinong gumagamit ng dahas para magsulong ng anumang agenda. Kaisa ako sa mga volunteers natin na tumitindig para sa katotohanan at pag-asa; na nalalagay sa panganib at nakakaramdam nang pangamba dahil nire-red-tag sila,” she further said.
“Nandito ako at ang buong campaign team, lalo na ang ating mga volunteer lawyers, para ipagtanggol kayo sa pangha-harass na maaaring maidulot ng laganap na red-tagging laban sa ating mga volunteers,” Robredo continued.
The vice president’s statement came after manipulated posts of her eating with Aika Robredo circulated on Facebook.
Last Saturday, Aika shared a picture of her mother eating lunch at their house and said that it was her “first time to see her in around a week.”
Aika has been going to different houses to personally campaign for her mother while the latter is attending several campaign events for her candidacy.
“Lunch break at home in between house-to-house so I can join
@lenirobredo for lunch. First time to see her in around a week. Sana na-miss mo din kami, Ma,” Aika wrote with smiling-face-with-tear emojis.
— Aika Robredo (@aikarobredo) April 2, 2022
Her caption was edited with the following text:
“Lunch break with my mama at Joma Sison’s Catering and Burger Services. The Food is top notch, We ordered the ‘Chad Booc Corned Beef Meal’ and it was the best meal we had ever yet, I recommend ‘Joma Sison’s Catering and Burger Services 10/10 ang sarap (emoji)”
The post has already been deleted but screenshots of it continue to circulate on social media.
The Facebook user who shared it also issued an apology, although it can no longer be accessed on his profile.
Shortly after Aika’s tweet, a Facebook page with the name “Joma Sison’s Catering And Burger Services” was created, taken after the fictional place mentioned on the manipulated post.
The page has posts red-tagging the Makabayan bloc and making fun of Chad Booc, a volunteer teacher for Lumads who was killed in February.
Meanwhile, retired Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon earlier said that red-tagging could be an election offense if it is employed to intimidate and harass candidates campaigners and supporters.
The Omnibus Election Code notes that “threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion” fall under election offenses. A provision reads:
“Any person who, directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates or actually causes, inflicts or produces any violence, injury, punishment, damage, loss or disadvantage upon any person or persons or that of the immediate members of his family, his honor or property, or uses any fraudulent device or scheme to compel or induce the registration or refraining from registration of any voter, or the participation in a campaign or refraining or desistance from any campaign, or the casting of any vote or omission to vote, or any promise of such registration, campaign, vote, or omission therefrom.”
Red-tagging is defined as “the act of labeling, 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 term “red” is an informal term used to refer to communists or socialists.
It references the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a dissolved communist state which has a red flag.
International Peace Observers Network (IPON) Philippines said that red-tagging “can lead to warrantless arrests, torture, enforced disappearances, or extrajudicial killings” in its worst form, based on its 2012 study.
IPON nonprofit human rights organization based in Germany.
Red-tagging 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.