IFJ affiliate targeted in red-tagging incident in the Philippines

A black banner referring to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and other activist groups as allies of the ‘terrorist NPA’ was found in Cagayan de Oro on Monday, May 27. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate NUJP Have condemned the banner and demanded an immediate investigation from authorities.

The banner found in Cagayan de Oro. Credit: Joanna Ricote & Menzie Montes

Members of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club found the banner as they gathered at the Press Freedom monument at the Provincial Capitol grounds to launch the commemoration of the 37th Press Freedom Week.

The banner red-tagged several organisations as terrorists including NUJP, the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), the League of Filipino Students (LFS), the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).

This was not the first time NUJP has been red-tagged. Last year, the organization was attacked and red-tagged as part of a communist front by tabloids. According to NUJP’s record, red-tagging toward individual journalists as well as media organizations has increased under the Duterte administration. The threat is an attempt to intimidate and silence journalists.

In its statement, NUJP hailed their colleagues in Cagayan de Oro for their show of unity against threats to attack press freedom and freedom of expression.

“The example set by the media of Cagayan de Oro is proof of what we have maintained all along, that the united community of independent Filipino journalists is capable of holding back the darkness that seeks to engulf us once again,” NUJP said.

The IFJ said: “We stand in solidarity with NUJP and our colleagues in the Philippines as they continue to face ongoing threats and intimidation in a volatile media environment. We urge the authorities to investigate this incident and bring those responsible to justice, in doing so, guaranteeing the safety and security of the media in the Philippines.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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