Group condemns distribution of red-tagging pamphlets at Taytay SHS during ‘AFP-led seminar’

Military criticized for distributing ‘brainwashing pamphlets’ against activist groups

A youth party-list group has condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for reportedly distributing “brainwashing pamphlets” against legal activist organizations during a seminar in Rizal.

According to a lawmaker representing the youth sector, the 80th Infantry Battalion (IB) was involved in disseminating the pamphlets at Taytay Senior High School. This incident comes shortly after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denied government involvement in red-tagging progressive groups.

“This proves that Marcos Jr.’s claim that the government doesn’t initiate red-tagging is a lie,” said Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel.

Screenshots of the pamphlets shared with the media suggest that recruiters of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) could be found at protests, teaching people to despise the government.

The seminar was reportedly held in accordance with a memorandum of agreement between the 80th IB and the Department of Education (DepEd) Rizal, and in line with Provincial Resolution 3 series of 2023. Students and parents were allegedly required to attend the seminar without prior notice.

Critics argue that such actions by the AFP are an attempt to suppress critical thinking among young people and force them to blindly follow anti-people policies.

The Supreme Court recently declared red-tagging as a “threat to life, liberty, and security,” highlighting the dangers of connecting individuals and organizations to underground armed rebellions without sufficient evidence. This decision allows red-tagged individuals to seek protection from threats through legal remedies.

Attempts to reach AFP spokesperson Francel Padilla for comment have not been successful at this time.

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