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MANILA, Philippines – Lorraine Badoy, former spokesperson of the government’s anti-insurgency task force who has become notorious for red-tagging, is now targeting the Angat Buhay nongovernmental organization set up by former vice president Leni Robredo.
On Monday, July 4, Badoy falsely claimed in the “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” show she co-hosted on SMNI that the people behind the Robredo-led Angat Buhay are allegedly allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines; its armed wing ,the New People’s Army; and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
“The people behind the Angat Buhay is CPP-NPA-NDF. In fact, they are now on social media, mga nanay na naghahanap ng mga anak nila, na wala na, wala na, hindi na nila makita, at ito ‘yung mga sumali ng Leni Youth,” Badoy claimed.
(The people behind the Angat Buhay is CPP-NPA-NDF. In fact, they are now on social media. Mothers are trying to look for their children but they can’t find them, and these are the ones who joined Leni Youth.)
Angat Buhay – registered as Angat Pinas, Incorporated – is the NGO launched by Robredo a day after her term as vice president ended on July 1. It’s generally focused on continuing the advocacy work Robredo spearheaded when she was an incumbent official.
Angat Buhay has also become a platform for Filipinos who supported Robredo’s failed presidential bid in 2022 to channel their campaign energy into projects that directly help people in need.
Angat Buhay is run by civilians not affiliated with communist rebels and it does not have a “Leni Youth” arm, contrary to Badoy’s claims.
Badoy made the accusations against Angat Buhay via a show that aired on SMNI, the media outfit owned by fugitive preacher Apollo Quiboloy, a known ally of former president Rodrigo Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
That the serial red-tagger Badoy is attacking Angat Buhay comes as no surprise. This wouldn’t be the first time for the ex-spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to spread lies about Robredo as well as individuals and groups she has partnered with.
As former opposition leader under the Duterte regime, Robredo was among the primary targets of Badoy’s false claims. Robredo has repeatedly denied being affiliated with communist rebels.
Badoy’s red-tagging activities has become so relentless that she is now facing multiple complaints filed by several progressive leaders, lawmakers, groups of medical professionals, and concerned citizens.
In April, Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa also filed an administrative complaint against Badoy over her “malicious and defamatory” posts and articles against the journalist.
Angat Buhay to fight back
Angat Buhay executive director Raffy Magno condemned and unequivocally denied Badoy’s allegations, saying on Friday, July 8, that they were eyeing legal action against her.
“Her claims are utterly baseless and completely false, and worse, encourage the harassment of our staff members, volunteers, and partners,” Magno said.
He said Angat Buhay’s lawyers are now in preparing possible legal action “to protect the integrity of our organization and our work and, more so, to protect our volunteers and partners.”
Magno gave assurances to Angat Buhay’s supporters that they would not take Badoy’s accusations sitting down.
“We will not allow these efforts to sabotage our work to prosper. The time to stand up to fake news and hold its purveyors to account is now. As with our Chairperson, former Vice President Leni Robredo, our word is our bond. Thank you for standing with us,” said Magno.
Apart from running Angat Buhay, Robredo is expected to actively lead efforts to counter disinformation in the coming months, though she has yet to announce details of this initiative. Her presidential campaign suffered persistent attacks from the well-oiled disinformation machinery backing Duterte and Marcos. – Rappler.com