“Now is a time for reckoning”

Statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Siegfred Deduro, red-tagging

We welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling which declares red-tagging, vilification, labeling, and guilt by association threaten a person’s life, liberty, or security. This is an affirmation of our long-standing assertion: red-tagging is a violation, and leads to more violations, of our most fundamental human rights.

Across the country, our members are consistently targeted, harassed, and attacked by the police and military for advocating for living wages, decent work, and workers’ rights to association and unionize. 

Last month in Mindanao alone, officers and members of our unions in Cagdianao Mining Corporation were intimidated by the PNP to disaffiliate from Kilusang Mayo Uno, maliciously linking our organization with the New People’s Army; our union president in the Hinatuan Mining Corporation was informed that the union’s account was under surveillance by the PNP, again maliciously linking the union’s financial activity with the New People’s Army; former KMU-SMR secretary general Carlo Olalo and Melodina Gumanoy were harassed in their homes to “surrender;” and William Lariosa, a veteran labor organizer in the region, had fallen victim to enforced disappearance by elements of the 48th Infantry Battalion. 

Red-tagging has cost us so much. Too many lives have been lost. Too many families have been forced to stay apart. Too many organizers have been forced to seek sanctuary. Too many unionists have been jailed through trumped-up charges. Too many workers have been deprived of their rights. Now is a time of reckoning. 

The Supreme Court’s ruling is a product of our long battle against vilification of dissent. We will continue to steadfastly fight against red-tagging, terror-tagging, and we will bring justice to all those who have fallen to its perils.