Group condemns red-tagging of Region 6 coordinator

Migrante Sectoral Partylist condemned in strongest terms the military’s baseless and malicious red-tagging of its Region VI coordinator Cynthia Deduro.

In a news report, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 3rd Infantry Division implicated Deduro in a recent military assault on an alleged rebel camp in Tapaz, Capiz on June 18.

According to Division commander Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta, two alleged top leaders of the New People’s Army were wounded in the attack by the AFP’s 61st Infantry Battalion at an alleged rebel lair at the vicinity of Barangay Buri, Tapaz as the NPA were allegedly holding a bomb-making training.

In the report, Mabanta said that “among top NPA rebels” supposedly present at the time were Deduro, Concha Araneta, an alias Tonyo/Tonying, an alias Bading and “other still unidentified senior cadres”.

Deduro had since denied the incident and said that on that date she was attending the NEDA Review Consultation on Official Development Assistance at the NEDA-VI Building, Iloilo City, presided by Director Ro-Ann Bacal of NEDA VI, from 9:00pm to 1:00pm. On the afternoon of the same day, from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm, she accompanied a victim of Violence Against Women (VAW) who was seeking assistance from the Molo PNP Station and the Iloilo City DSWD. Later on, together with PO1 Mericar Galido and Social Worker Merlyn Gison, they had a meeting with Brgy. Captain John Villanueva of Brgy. Boulevard, Molo, Iloilo City.

“I do not know where the military gets its information. Those present in all my activities on said date can vouch for my attendance. I now fear for my life. It has been the pattern in the military’s psy-war operations, under Oplan Bayanihan, of conditioning the public mind that a certain person is a member of the revolutionary underground in order to justify their dirty operations of eliminating legal democratic personalities, like in the cases of the extra-judicial killings of Lezo Councilor Fernando Baldomero and the enforced disappearance of Luisa Posa Dominado and Nilo Arado. This allegation is a patent lie aimed at conditioning public perception for whatever ill plans the military has against me,” Deduro said.

Migrante Sectoral Partylist president Connie Bragas-Regalado said, “This is obviously a desperate and irresponsible attempt of the military to vilify leaders of progressive organizations. We will hold the AFP and the Aquino government accountable should anything untoward happen to Deduro because of this malicious red-tagging.”

Bragas-Regalado said that they are coordinating with Deduro on possible legal moves against the AFP for the said report.###