The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday welcomed the Senate hearing to be chaired by defense committee chairman, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, regarding the red-tagging allegations being raised against military officials.
“The AFP welcomes Senator Lacson’s call for a Senate hearing on the issue of ‘red-tagging’ that the AFP, as one of the agencies that comprise the NTF ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict), is being accused of,” AFP spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when sought for comment.
The AFP, he said, wishes to thank Lacson for providing a venue to further discuss and raise public awareness of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) duplicity and deceptive manner of recruitment.
Arevalo said such recruitment capitalizes on the idealism of the students, youth leaders, and influencers to “eventually join the ranks of CTG (communist terrorist group) cadres.”
Lacson has filed Senate Resolution 559 to direct the Senate Oversight Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation to exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging/red-baiting of certain celebrities, personalities, institutions, and organizations, to craft guidelines that would prevent misunderstanding between the public and the military.
He said this is also to ensure the protection of the people’s constitutional rights, strengthening the people’s confidence and trust in the professionalism of the military.
On Thursday, Lacson said in a tweet that after seeking Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd’s opinion on the matter, he decided to schedule the initial hearing on November 3.
While the Senate resolution would not be read until the session resumes on November 9, he noted that Sotto had said the hearing is in the exercise of the Senate’s oversight function. PNA