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Ombudsman asked to suspend, hold Badoy criminally liable for red-tagging Patreng Non

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy faces another rap before the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly red-tagging Maginhawa community pantry organizer Patricia "Patreng" Non.

Zena Bernado, Non's mother, filed the complaint-affidavit on Wednesday before the anti-graft body to seek Badoy's preventive suspension until the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's term on June 30, 2022, as well as criminal, civil, and administrative liabilities against the NTF-ELCAC official.

The complainant also asked the Ombudsman to direct Badoy and other public officials or employees to "stop, prevent, and correct the commission of red-tagging and similar acts of abuse and impropriety in the performance of duties, whether online and offline."

GMA News Online sought Badoy for comment but she has yet to issue one as of posting time.

In her complaint-affidavit, Bernardo mentioned the red-tagging by youth organization Peace Philippines on April 19, 2021 where the community pantries were labelled as "weapons of communists to recruit members."

This was eventually shared by the NTF-ELCAC page and at least eight other Facebook pages and profiles, which, "either have links to the Philippine National Police, or publish posts, comments, and memes similar to the NTF-ELCAC's, or both."

This was followed by a Facebook post on Badoy's personal account which red-tagged community pantry organizers , insinuating that they are linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), Bernardo noted in her affidavit.

After which, Bernardo said state news outfit Philippine News Agency picked up the press statement released by Badoy.

She further stated in her affidavit that Badoy raised the same allegations in a live television and radio interview with news company, SMNI.

To date, she said Badoy's post, the PNA article, and the SMNI interview are still subsisting.

After the interviews and the statements made, Bernardo said profiling of Non and other community pantry organizers were done by the PNP.

The community pantries have also became the "targets of online bashing, bullying, and harassment in form of comments, memes, tweets, and others."

"Badoy-Partosa's acts of red-tagging and disseminating false information and fake news online and offline against community pantries and the organizers thereof constitute disinformation, abuse and misuse of official authority and public resources, and worse, endangerment of the lives and safety [of] ordinary citizens," the complaint read.

With this, Bernardo said Badoy as well as any public official and private individual committing the acts should be accountable of the following:

  • torture and persecution under Republic Act 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes Against Humanity
  • malicious disclosure of Non's sensitive personal information under RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act
  • causing through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence, undue injury "to me, other organizers and supporters of community pantries in the country, as well as all Filipinos" to whom the service of community pantries mean so much under RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
  • violation of standards of personal conduct in the discharge of execution of official duties under RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public officials and employees.

She also argued that Badoy and her "ilk" constitute prima facie violations of RA 3019 and RA 6713.

Further, Bernardo said Badoy should be held accountable for the "mental and physchological torture that she cause not just on Patreng" and herself but also to a lot of people involved in the community pantry movement.

"No, fake news does not leave the target alone. It does not satisfy itself online. The damage follows you offline, then hits you again and again when you go back to social media," Bernardo said.

"This is what happened to us because of Badoy-Partosa and her red-tagging. For this, and due to her use of online information and communication technologies, she should be held liable to the greatest extent possible set by the law," she added.

The complaint was filed on the eve of the first anniversary of the Maginhawa Community Pantry.

On April 14, Non set up a "community pantry" in Maginhawa, Quezon City amid the reimplementation of the most stringent community quarantine classification due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This brought out the bayanihan spirit of the Filipinos in several parts of the country and encouraged several individuals and groups to put up their own version of the community pantry.

At one point, however, the Maginhawa Community Pantry decided to pause its operations after it was red-tagged by some government social media pages.

The NTF-ELCAC posted graphics on its Facebook page apparently linking the community pantry initiatives to the communist movement.—AOL, GMA News