HOUSE Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Thursday welcomed the proposal of Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to criminalize red-tagging, and, his call for the resumption of the GRP- Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace talks.
“I agree with Sen. Lacson in criminalizing red-tagging, in particular for government officials and employees who use government funds and resources to vilify and attack progressives, artists, critics of the administration, the political opposition and even ordinary people just for espousing their beliefs,” Zarate, a Davao-based congressman, said.
“Government funds and resources should be used to improve the lives of the people and not to attack them with premeditated disinformation schemes, malicious innuendos, hearsays and fake news,” he said. “That is why we moved to defund the NTF-ELCAC and re-align the use of its nearly P20 billion budget to rebuild the lives devastated by the calamities and pandemic.”
“The NTF-ELCAC is just spewing lies using every platform available to them, without any credible, competent and admissible evidence that will stand in court,” he added.
“As we support the calls of Sen. Lacson, Sen. Francis Pangilinan and other peace advocates for the resumption of the peace talks, the challenge is now with the Duterte administration to consider this opportunity of finding a political, not the failed militarist, solution to the roots of the more than five-decade old armed conflict in our country,” Zarate stressed.