“Red-tagging” continues in Cagayan de Oro

Screengrab from Kodao.org.

CMFR / PHILIPPINES – Two Cagayan de Oro City-based journalists are among the personalities and organizations targeted anew in the anti-communist propaganda of unknown perpetrators last 28 August 2019.

Cagayan de Oro City is 789.64 kilometers south of Manila.

Courier packets containing materials which “red-tagged” local journalists Leonardo Vicente “Cong” Corrales and Froilan Gallardo, among other personalities and organizations, were received by Iglesia Filipina Independiente priest Fr. Rolando Abejo and Evelyn Naguio, a city hall employee. Naguio had been “red-tagged” earlier.

The flyer from a certain “Black Mamba MAT-NMR Press Club Chapter” claimed there is a PHP1 million bounty for the death of Corrales and that he is facing a rape with murder case involving a child.

The packet identified the sender as Danilo Tirso Mantagan of Sitio Camansi, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reported.

Gallardo’s name was included in the materials received by Fr. Abejo who was also targeted.

Corrales is associate editor of the Mindanao Gold Star Daily while Gallardo is a journalist for MindaNews, the news service arm of the Davao City-based Mindanao Institute of Journalism. He is also a correspondent for the Gold Star Daily. Corrales and the NUJP have been “red-tagged” several times.

(see related Alerts: “NUJP, Other Orgs, Local Journalist “Red-tagged” Anew”, “NUJP, Other Groups “Red-tagged” During Press Freedom Week”, “Cagayan de Oro Journalist Red tagged”)

Gallardo said he could have been targeted because he interviewed New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas for his story on the raid on Minergy Power Corporation in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental on August 19.

Some individuals who have similarly been accused of being members or supporters of the NPA and/or the Communist Party of the Philippines have been killed by still unknown assailants.

In a statement, the NUJP demanded that authorities and security forces in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao protect Corrales and Gallardo. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said in a statement on August 30 that “Journalists ensure accountability and transparency in a society. An attack against them is an attack against our right to truth and the right to be fully informed.”