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SENADO mulls next steps vs. NICA chief's red-tagging move

Senate union Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon (SENADO) on Friday said it is already planning its next moves after the chief of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) linked the organization to communist groups.

At a virtual press conference on Friday, SENADO president Rosel Eugenio said the union could seek legal assistance from the courts, the Commission on Human Rights, and even the United Nations about the matter.

"Pinag-uusapan na po ng aming mga opisyales 'yung course of action na pupuwedeng gawin doon sa malicious labeling or 'yung pagrered-tag sa amin" (We are already discussing our next steps after the malicious labeling of our group), Eugenio said.

"Medyo malawak 'yung avenues, hindi lang sa  korte, kundi puwedeng i-explore 'yung pagdulog sa United Nations, at Commission of Human Rights..." (We have a broad venue for redress. Aside from courts, we can ask help from the UN, and the CHR), she added.

NICA director general Alex Paul Monteagudo earlier shared on his social media account a graphic tagging SENADO as a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

SENADO has denied the tacit allegation that it is affiliated with communist rebels, noting that Monteagudo's post on social media was malicious, dangerous and baseless.

According to Eugenio, Monteagudo's action has a chilling effect on the union's members, adding that it causes fear and anxiety among them and also to their families.

Also, Eugenio said the union was linked to communist groups because of its affiliation with the Confederation of Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), an umbrella organization of public-sector unions.

COURAGE has been accused of being infiltrated by communists.

On Wednesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III he is now inclined to support the measure seeking to criminalize "red-tagging" after the Senate employees' union was accused of having links with communist rebels. 

GMA News Online already reached Monteagudo and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for comment on the matter. Both have yet to reply as of posting time. —LBG, GMA News