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Maria Ressa sues NTF-ELCAC's Badoy for alleged red-tagging, defamatory remarks

Veteran journalist Maria Ressa on Tuesday lodged a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy for her alleged defamatory statements and red-tagging.

Ressa said Badoy should be held liable for misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the service when the latter called her a "bare-faced liar," a "rotten soul," and claimed she had "billionaire handlers" and "powerful global connections" without offering proof. 

“Respondent Badoy hurled defamatory words and invectives at me which tarnish the offices that she represents for which she should be held liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” the complaint stated.

"Instead of portraying the government as the protector of everyone, her actions show that anyone can be dehumanized and become a target of malicious attacks and harassment to intimidate them into silence," it added.

The Rappler CEO and Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist also claimed that Badoy "endangered" her "physical safety and well-being."

"Her constant posting on Facebook about my alleged alliance/affiliation with known communist groups such as the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New Peoples' Army, and the National Democratic Front, and that I am allegedly an 'enemy of the people' or a 'mouthpiece of enemies of the state' are not only false but create a threat to my life, security and liberty," the complaint read.

“These posts by Respondent Badoy have served as the rallying point for other persons to attack and harass myself, Rappler and other journalists for simply doing our job: fact-checking and pursuing the truth. This is easily seen in the hundreds of cruel, malicious, and malevolent  comments from other persons attacking me and my fellow journalists,” it stated.

“Thus, I seek to hold Respondent Badoy accountable for failing to uphold the highest standards of professionalism as well as to observe proper decorum and decency that tarnishes the reputation of public office."

GMA News Online sought a comment from Badoy, who is also an official of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, but she has not yet replied as of posting time.

Badoy faces similar complaints about her alleged red-tagging activities from youth groups, the mother of Maginhawa community pantry organizer Patricia Non, health workers, and members of the Makabayan bloc. —VBL, GMA News