Makabayan bloc claps back at Duterte’s ‘red-tagging’

The House Makabayan bloc on Wednesday described President Duterte’s recent attack against them as a “desperate attempt” to silence progressive groups.

House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said the President’s recent attack on the Makabayan bloc is “a desperate election squid tactic to create a wedge in the growing numbers of the political opposition that support the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem, as well as to prevent the eventual reelection of progressive party-lists to Congress.”

“Clearly lacking in admissible and credible evidence that will stand in court, President Duterte  and his minions now resort to guilt by mere association, a ploy also designed to divert the attention of the people from the failings of the Duterte administration in the past six years, especially during this time of the pandemic,” Zarate said.

“In all these accusations, no credible evidence was presented against the Makabayan bloc was ever presented, except for innuendoes and hearsays coming from perjured witnesses,” he added.

President Duterte tagged five party-list groups as “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Duterte also backed the claim of National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Badoy that Kabataan, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Alyansa of Concerned Teachers or ACT, and Gabriela are affiliated with leftist groups.

For her part, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro condemned President Duterte’s recent red-tagging tirade against the Makabayan bloc.

The lawmaker said this is the Duterte administration’s attempt at pointing blame at progressive lawmakers with baseless red-tagging accusations instead of solving urgent problems of the people.

“The Duterte administration should focus its energy and the government’s resources in addressing urgent issues of the people. Its red-tagging threats and harassment will not help alleviate the suffering of the people due to rising prices of basic goods,” Castro added.


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