By Priam Nepomuceno

National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya (File photo from Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing)

MANILA – A ranking National Security Council (NSC) official on Thursday maintained that there is no red-tagging policy under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“The NTF-ELCAC wishes to convey to the United Nations Special Rapporteur (Irene Khan) who is currently visiting the country that there is no such government policy as red-tagging under the Marcos administration. In fact, the Marcos administration has not issued any law, rule, executive order or policy instrument that implements red-tagging or even uses the word red-tagging,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya, who is also chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) strategic communications cluster, said in a statement.

He added that Khan’s visit is an opportunity for her, in particular, and the UN body she represents, to get the facts straight from all sides about the red-tagging issue. Khan is in the Philippines until Feb. 2.

Malaya, meanwhile, reminded the enemies and critics of the state that the word red-tagging has no factual basis and is not considered a crime under Philippine laws.

Although several cases related to red-tagging were filed against certain government officials, these were all dismissed by the courts for lack of probable cause.

He added that the Supreme Court ruled that “the mere filing of legal suits or cases against persons suspected of being a member of a CTG (communist terrorist group) is also not an actual threat to one’s right to life, liberty, and security.” (PNA)