New Hong Kong Cultural Club Canada: 14 HK Activists Granted Asylum in Canada (14.01.2021)

Sri Lanka: Joint Press Release – Sri Lanka’s COVID Military Overlords (06.01.2021)

Bhutan: Druk Phuensum Tshigpa – Press Release – Support and Solidarity to fight COVID-19 (24.12.2020)

Maldives: Joint Communique – One Year Since the Arbitrary Ban of Maldivian Rights Group the Maldivian Democracy Network (19.12.2020)

Maldives: The Environment and Climate Change Committee of the People’s Majlis applauds the Government’s commitment to achieve (15.12.2020)

Opinion: Red-Tagging could happen to you

Just as the Philippines government are red tagging people. This as part of their activities to hurt the New People’s Army (NPA) and the whole CPP-NPA. It is natural that the government and the army is working to dismantle the insurgency of the communist army in the Republic. That is all natural.

However, the tool of red tagging of people might hit the public wrongly. As it is proven that loud activists and “non-associated” people with the CPP-NPA have been targeted by state this way. They have been wire-tapped and monitored. The people could easily be detained without warrants, restricted travels, examinations of bank accounts and seizure of assets. That is the powers the state takes if they have red tagged you.

If that is done wrongly, then the state has the powers of deeming you associated, connected or abating terrorists. That the state works to stop terrorism and organizations is all natural. That is to safeguard the public and the citizens from the dangers of extremists. However, the red tagging might not work for its purpose.

Especially, when there is knowledge and been reported that the activists who has spoken out against gender violence. There even been in the past where the government has gone after supposed “front-groups” of the CPP-NPA without any basis or claim. Where they could not identify the association or accessory to it. Therefore, undermining its own efforts. Targeting individuals and organizations without basis to do so. Just to justify their efforts against terrorism.

The red tagging has even gone as far as targeting outspoken celebrities. These have gotten bad mouthed and been listed. Because they dared to speak out against the government stance. Which by the act of doing so isn’t abiding or association with terrorism, but just using their free speech to speak their minds.

Just like the red tagging is easily applied on other civil society organization and non-governmental organizations. Which in the end would target the ones who works against government policy and therefore, easily deemed fit for the programme. Then the program is more of a tagging the ones daring to speak out against it, then for the purpose of labelling the ones who is associated with the CPP-NPA.

So, the idea itself to identify and label terrorist and the ones associated isn’t that bad. That has been done by governments since forever. However, targeting all left-wing and outspoken critics of the government. That is a bad look, as most of them is most likely not associated with the groups in question. They are not financially backing them or supporting in any fashion. Only because of a inkling of “red” and the state can use their powers to suffocate you. Take away your freedom and liberties. Destroy your image and your livelihood.

If these folks are supporting the CPP-NPA it is understandable. As the state is working to destroy and annihilate this threat to the Republic. That if someone would use their time, effort and machinery to support the CPP-NPA. This makes sense and I can understand the actions made. So, that these folks doesn’t get support or help from outside forces. However, the red tagging might cover a broad spectrum of people, than just these ones.

That is the problem with it. This can be used to muffle critics and CSO’s who works in good spirit, but not always following the state or its objectives. Because, they work after other charters and ideas for a better society. That is how things has always been. Someone on the front-line being revolutionary, being radical, but later will deemed as a normal thought. That’s because of the ideals and political standpoints. Which today might differ from the state, but later would be deemed as reasonable. Therefore, the red tagging might target these folks, instead of the ones supporting terrorists.

That is the whole problem and why we got to discuss it. Since this isn’t making the Republic better, but instead making it easier to silence critics. Which isn’t a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. Peace.

Phillippines: National Security Council (NSC) – Jevilyn Cullamat was a Victim of the Armed Movement We Condemn, Not a Martyr Whose Death is to be Romanticized (01.12.2020)

Phillippines: UN extends call for help to Typhoon Vamco-affected areas in Northern Luzon (27.11.2020)

Philippines: National Security Council – To the Makabayan Bloc: It is not our duty to coddle armed rebellion, our duty as government officials is to protect Filipinos and uphold 1987 Constitution (25.11.2020)

Philippines: Duterte should apologize to the VP [for his 20 minute rant against her]

Should you become the President, if you want, buy a lot of swimsuits and swim when the floods come” – President Rodrigo Duterte addressing Vice President Leni Robredo

In the last few days Vice President Leni Robredo have worked on sites at typhoon hit areas after the ‘Goni’, ‘Rolly’ and ‘Ulysses’. She has been out to the areas and been a public face in the midst of trouble for the citizens in these areas. With this she has proven her character and been vocal to get more help for the ones in need. That has hurt Malacañang Palace and President Rodrigo Duterte.

We could clearly see by the statement of the live nation address and the 20 minutes long infuriated rant on her. Instead of addressing the needs of the people. The President was focused on her and was lying. He was trying to forge a narrative and wasn’t sincere. That because he wants to have the glory and be the big-man. Accordingly, Leni was his target because of her efforts after these storms and typhoons.

Clearly, Duterte pride was hurt as Robredo has been in the field and acted like a public servant. This is something that makes him look and indecisive. He knows that this make him look weak and not capable. As she is out there and participating in the emergency response to the affected areas of the typhoons.

Yes, Duterte is a President. A head of state and doesn’t have to be everywhere and cannot be everywhere at any time. Just like any other person. However, if he wanted to show his face and be with some of the ones who are hurt by the typhoons. He could have taken a day-trip without it hurting the programs, the plans and the scheduled affairs of the Presidency. Yes, the old man could be afraid of COVID-19, but his supposed to be in Davao. A region that is hit hard with the sickness and he cannot be sheltered from it forever.

President Duterte was in the wrong. To ask for accountability of each other is fine. However, using lies and misogyny has no place. That the President uses this to make himself look good. Is just a dumb move. If he wanted to look great. He should have taken a trip and been visible. Everyone understand that he cannot always go and has business to attend too. Nevertheless, that cannot be reason all the time. Especially, in crisis like these and where the Republic is hit with more and more troubles.

Leni Robredo isn’t the one who usually tends and attends things correctly. The VP has created unnecessary storms and conflicts, because she haven’t done the right thing. Where she haven’t filed the right papers or informed the authorities accordingly. Therefore, she can be wrong too. It is not about that. I’m not a great fan of Robredo. No, I am not, but here Duterte is off the rails.

Duterte should not get away with this. This sort of behaviour isn’t cool, it isn’t funny and shouldn’t be a thing. Rodrigo should act like a man and not like spoiled brat. That is seeing someone else is playing with his toys. He better get a grip and maybe even talk to the VP. Give her a call and apologize. Because, this is beneath his station. The rant shouldn’t have happened. The man should know better. Would the man accept this sort of talk about his daughter [Sara Duterte] and Mayor of Davao? I doubt he would accept it. He would hunt the man down… asap.

Therefore, when we knows. The President should pay amends and also see what the VP have done of late. Which has been the right thing for the same government that his serving. The President and VP serves the same government and is responsible for the same citizens.

President Duterte, this was wrong and dumb. Your better than this. I hope, because this isn’t cutting it. Peace.