Cagayan De Oro City

DAR workers’ union in Cagayan de Oro red-tags, severs ties with COURAGE

Froilan Gallardo
DAR workers’ union in Cagayan de Oro red-tags, severs ties with COURAGE

RED-TAG. Former rebel Jomority Guaynon links COURAGE to the New People's Army as officers of the DAR Employees Association in Northern Mindanao and other officials listen during a news conference in Cagayan de Oro on August 10.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

'By painting us red, the government is already putting a chain around us so that we cannot defend the government employees,' says COURAGE president Santiago Dasmariñas Jr.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Organized employees of the agrarian reform department in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday, August 10, severed ties with the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), and accused it of being a communist front.

COURAGE national president Santiago Dasmariñas Jr. decried the announcement made by the Department of Agrarian Reform Employees Association in Northern Mindanao (DAREA-X), calling it “outright red-tagging.”

DAREA-X president Modenita Mabaylan said her 423-member association wanted to remain loyal to the government and cut its affiliation with COURAGE, an umbrella organization of public sector workers’ unions.

The announcement came exactly five months after DAREA national president Jocelyn Chua and other officers of its 10 chapters signed a resolution to sever ties with COURAGE.

The March 10 resolution was made known only on Wednesday when DAREA-X became the first chapter of the association to make a public announcement during a news conference.

Supporting the move, Army and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) officials brought former communist rebels who took turns in linking COURAGE to the New People’s Army (NPA) during the DAREA-X press conference.

Dasmariñas cried foul, and questioned DAREA’s motivations, saying the red-tagging put the lives of COURAGE’s leaders and members at risk.

“We suspect this has something to do with the government’s plan of ‘rightsizing’ the bureaucracy,” he said.

Dasmariñas said the Marcos administration was planning to merge, revamp, and abolish several state agencies, a move that would likely displace thousands of government workers.

“By painting us red, the government is already putting a chain around us so that we cannot defend the government employees,” Dasmariñas said. – Rappler.com

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