[OPINION] Lorraine Badoy's world

In Lorraine Badoy’s world, I am a communist terrorist.

Badoy is the undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Coordination Office (PCOO), member of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and President Duterte’s rah-rah girl and self-appointed anti-communist witch hunter.

In a recent op-ed piece in the Manila Times, Badoy accused Manila Bulletin columnist Tonyo Cruz, multi-awarded and well-respected journalist Inday Espina-Varona, and activists Dr Carol Araullo, Renato Reyes, and myself as being high-ranking officers of the CPP-NPA-NDFP.

As proof, well, she had none. On the contrary, she even admitted that I never ever went to the hills to take up arms because I am a “burgis na ayaw madungisan ang kutis.” 

Lorraine insists that I am a communist terrorist because I represented Bayan Muna in previous Congresses even if Bayan Muna’s program and platform never mentions anything about communism, socialism, or the violent overthrow of the state. In fact, its platform adheres more to the Philippine Constitution than the Communist Manifesto. (READ: Ibon Foundation: Duterte gov't 'red-tagging' meant to silence dissent)

She says I recruit people to join the New People’s Army. Again, no proof except her belief that raising the political and social consciousness of people, which I do regularly as an activist, radicalizes them to take up arms against the government. Maybe she should sit in sometime and get a lesson in social justice and active citizenship. Besides, if that were the case, then perhaps the biggest communist recruiter is the government itself for exposing how evil and rotten the system is. 

Lorraine calls me a communist terrorist even if I am not involved in the armed struggle, don’t espouse the violent overthrow of the state, nor incite or recruit people to do so. In this regard I am no match for her boss President Duterte who at one time publicly declared “Mabuhay ang NPA” and boasted of being the first leftist and socialist president in Philippine history. 

Ordinarily, I would dismiss Lorraine’s accusations as just another piece of red-tagging shit fed to her by her idiot handlers in the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NIICA), and NTF-ELCAC. This is the same drivel that was thrown out by the Supreme Court in 2006 when it dismissed the rebellion case against me and my 5 colleagues in Congress. (READ: Human Rights Watch expresses 'deep concern' over red-tagging in Cagayan de Oro)

But Lorraine is Gang Badoy’s sister. And knowing how intelligent and compassionate Gang is, I guess her sister can't be far behind. Maybe she just lives in a different world. 

In Lorraine’s world, communist terrorists are lurking behind every corner and progressive cause, waiting to lure the unsuspecting sympathizer and activist to the hills to take up arms against the government. Thus, anything that smells of activism turns into a communist conspiracy. 

In her wild imagination, anyone defending human rights and social justice, or advocating national sovereignty or socialist-oriented reforms and being at odds with the government as a result, is either a cold-blooded communist or a naive bleeding heart liberal manipulated by the communists. 

In this paranoid universe, it does not matter that activists and their organizations are effective mechanisms for people empowerment and democratic participation. Or that they are working within the legal and parliamentary arena of struggle. Lorraine and her rabid anti-communist witch hunters have reduced us all to being conspirators of the armed communist movement. This is a truly dangerous, even fatal proposition and one so in tune with President Duterte’s fascist mindset. 

Using Lorraine’s logic, practically any organization critical of the government and the status quo can be considered a terrorist front and therefore legitimate targets of persecution, political repression, and even armed attack. (READ: Lives in danger as red-tagging campaign intensifies)

Already, joint military and police operations have resulted in 3 massacres of leaders and members of progressive farmers organizations in Negros Island. Mass arrests of activists, trade unionists, and even cultural workers have been effected in many parts of the country in the guise of going after the communist-terrorists.   

And the target is not only the Left.

In 2018, Lorraine’s handler Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. came up with a ridiculous “Red October” ouster plot premised on a grand conspiracy involving the CPP-NPA-NDFP, the Liberal Party, Tindig Pilipinas, Magdalo, the Movement Against Tyranny, plus 18 or so colleges and universities in the country. It was so laughable the military had to clarify that it wasn’t really a plot yet, just an intention. The hoax was meant to intimidate and derail the anti-Duterte movement by linking them to the armed rebellion. 

In the months after that, Lorraine, Parlade, and their team toured the European Union, North America, and Australia convincing governments and funding agencies that even religious groups, human rights organizations, media organizations, and humanitarian NGOs were part of the communist terrorist conspiracy to bring down the Duterte regime, eliciting incredulous snickers behind their backs.

Unfortunately, many of those in power share Lorraine’s view of the world, among them foreign affairs secretary Teddyboy Locsin who posted on Twitter that anti-VFA activists were “fucking Communists” who should be shot and not listened to. Thankfully, his post was taken down by Twitter for violating community standards. 

Badoy, Parlade, and their ilk have mounted an attack not only on the CPP-NPA-NDFP or its alleged front organizations, but on activism in general and the people’s right to dissent and to struggle for political, economic, and socio-cultural reforms. The strategy is to link everyone to the armed communist movement, thereby making them vulnerable to vilification, political persecution, trumped up cases, and extrajudicial killings. – Rappler.com