MANILA, Philippines – After red-tagging Vice President Leni Robredo and members of the progressive Makabayan bloc in Congress, serial red-tagger Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy faced more complaints calling for her immediate suspension.
On Wednesday, March 23, some 26 activists and concerned citizens filed before the Office of the Ombudsman three separate complaints that accused Badoy of multiple violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
“Hindi wastong ugali ng isang pubiko-opisyal ang pagbabato ng mabigat ngunit walang batayang akusasyon. Hindi akma sa mataas na posisyon ni USec Badoy ang paninirang-puri at pananakot sa kapwa publiko-opisyal, at higit pa, sa ordinaryong mamamayan. Walang puwang sa pamahalaan lalo na sa nakapangyayaring posisyon sa state media ang taong nagsisimula at nagpapakalat ng fake news,” said the complaint signed by activist teachers Vladimer Quetua and Ophelia Tabacon.
(It is wrong for a public official to hurl serious but baseless accusations. Defaming and intimidating a fellow public official, much more ordinary citizens, is inappropriate for the position of Usec Badoy. A person who initiates and spreads fake news has no place in government and the dominant state media.)
The complaints are in relation to her statement on March 14, where she falsely accused Robredo of conspiring with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) just because the progressive Makabayan bloc endorsed her presidential bid. (READ: HINDI TOTOO: Robredo-Pangilinan tandem tinanggap at ikinatuwa ang pag-endoso ng CPP-NPA-NDF)
Badoy echoed the government’s theory that the Makabayan coalition was made of CPP “fronts,” even without substantial evidence.
The complaint is the first of such kind during the 2022 election period, capping the surge of red-tagging incidents under the Duterte administration. Complainants warned that the government, through officials like Badoy, would continue to use the red tag until the end of the Duterte administration, this time to spoil the candidacy of opposition figures like Robredo and Makabayan lawmakers.
The complainants include former Kabataan representative Raymond Palatino, Daily Tribune editor Pocholo Concepcion, and Delfin Castro – the older brother of doctor Natividad Castro.
The activists and concerned citizens asked for two things from the Ombudsman:
- Investigate Badoy and determine the proper charges to be filed against her
- Suspend Badoy until the end of the Duterte administration in June 2022
Badoy is an undersecretary at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and serves as the spokesperson of the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). She recently red-tagged Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong in social media posts after the local chief executive ordered cops to take down tarpaulins that red-tagged activists, students, and other personalities in his city, following a dialogue with red-tagging victims.
Magalong, a retired police general, is vice chair of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
By Rappler’s count, the latest set of complaints was the sixth time that Badoy faced accusations of impropriety for red-tagging and spreading false information, following similar complaints lodged by IBON, rights group Karapatan, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, and Kabataan. – Rappler.com