HomeNewsCaritas Philippines describes SC ruling on red-tagging as ‘game-changer’ 

Caritas Philippines describes SC ruling on red-tagging as ‘game-changer’ 

The social action arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines has welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision recognizing red-tagging as a threat to Filipinos’ rights. 

Caritas Philippines called the ruling as a game-changer for human rights defenders and a crucial step toward improving safety for all.

“This decision is a victory for justice and a crucial step for a safer Philippines. Red-tagging has instilled fear and silenced dissent for far too long. The Supreme Court’s ruling sends a clear message that such tactics will not be tolerated,” said Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines. 

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, vice-president of Caritas Philippines, who has experienced red-tagging, described how it creates an environment that discourages people from speaking out. 

“Red-tagging creates a climate of fear and intimidation,” he said.

Bishop Alminaza has been subjected to a series of state-sanctioned vilification campaigns and red-tagging for his strong stance against environmental destruction and social injustices.

“Being red-tagged can have serious consequences. But as a follower of Christ, I find inspiration in His teachings to love one another and fight for justice. ‘Sicut Christus vivit’ – ‘As Christ lives’ – is my motto. It guides me to continue serving the most vulnerable, even in the face of threats,” he said.

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Caritas Philippines emphasized that the Supreme Court’s ruling is a vindication for those affected by red-tagging and offers hope for healing. 

“For too long, individuals and communities have been silenced and ostracized based on mere accusations. This ruling offers a glimmer of hope and a chance for healing. We urge those who have been red-tagged to seek support and know that they are not alone,” said Bishop Alminaza. 

Caritas Philippines called on the government and military to respect the court’s decision and protect all citizens, regardless of their political views. 

“We call on all sectors of society to work together to foster a more tolerant and respectful environment where open discourse and dissent are encouraged,” said Bishop Bagaforo. 

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