A Catholic priest in the southern Philippines decried what he described as red-tagging directed at him by still unknown individuals in the Diocese of Tandag.
Father Raymond Montero Ambray reported on Sunday, May 10, that his photograph has been spreading online with his name and a description “deliverer of evil.”
The priest accused the military of having a hand in the circulation of the meme on social media.
The post tagged the priest as “an ally of the tribal group MAPASU that protects the communist rebels.”
It accused him of “using the word of God to manipulate and destroy the lives of the indigenous people.”
MAPASU or Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Persevering Struggle for the Next Generation) is a tribal group being accused by the military as a rebel front.
“I strongly condemn this cowardly act especially in this time when our focus should be on defeating the coronavirus,” said Father Ambray.
The priest said the post is “trying to besmirch my work as ideological” and “reduced my apostolate with the tribal people as a mere front of the communist group.”
Ambray said the red-tagging suggested that he has just become a target of the military.
The priest became vocal in his criticism of military presence in tribal territories in 2015 after the murder of three tribal leaders by suspected paramilitary men.