Human rights group calls out two radio broadcasters for Red-tagging and malicious accusations

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Karapatan-Central Luzon called out Radyo Natin Nationwide broadcasters Angelo Palmones and Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla, for Red-tagging and spewing malicious accusations during their radio program on July 1. According to the group, the broadcasters spread misinformation, defamation and uninformed opinions against Karapatan after it assisted the families of slain Red fighters killed in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on June 26.

The broadcasters spoke after a report by journalist Armi Carranza of Radyo Natin Guimba. Carranza reported that the remains of one of those killed in Pantabangan have been brought home to the town of Guimba, Nueva Ecija. The group said Carranza objectively reported the side of the families and friends, as well as the military side, before Palmones and San Diego-Bobadilla spread their malicious accusations.

The two said Karapatan-Central Luzon is “annoying” because after the encounter in Nueva Ecija, it focused more on the possible human rights violations of those killed. “It is not our job to be speak for and act as the purveyor of government programs,” the group responded.

According to Karapatan-Central Luzon, the two broadcasters also stated that the group should advise its comrades in the mountains and inform them that the government has programs so there is no more reason to go to the mountains. Palmones and Sandiego-Bobadilla maliciously linked Karapatan to the armed revolutionary movement.

“It is important to correct Angelo Palmones and Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and other journalists that Karapatan-Central Luzon, [and chapters] in various regions and nationally, is a legal organization of human rights defenders,” it said.

They said the statements of Palmones and San Diego-Bobadilla that Karapatan are comrades with those who chose to join the armed struggle are dangerous to the life, freedom and security of volunteers and human rights defenders. “Such statements put targets on our backs, and label us as enemies of the government, who can then be abducted and killed,” Karapatan-Central Luzon added.

The group stressed that it is the duty of journalists to report truthfully, provide studied and evidence-based opinions, and be careful in their presentation, especially in stories that are not even true but are destructive and dangerous to the life, freedom and security of others. “A journalist has a huge responsibility, it is an obligation,” they added.

Meanwhile, the group condemned the military and police for posting tarpaulins in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and other parts of Central Luzon linking Karapatan-Central Luzon to the New People’s Army. The posters were put up by the state after Karapatan’s response after the clash in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija and after it helped the families retrieve the remains of those killed.

Karapatan-Central Luzon asserted the international humanitarian law and the law of war as the standard and guide for parties participating in armed conflicts to keep the conduct of war humane.

AB: Human rights group calls out two radio broadcasters for Red-tagging and malicious accusations