NTF-ELCAC stays, says President Marcos Jr.

In a decision dated May 8, 2024, the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) declared so-called “red-tagging” (i.e., branding individuals or organizations as “terrorist”) as a threat to a person’s right to life, liberty, and security. The organization Human Rights Watch then called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to publicly endorse this decision and take the necessary measures.

However, Marcos Jr. declared on May 16, 2024, that there was no need for action following the said SC-decision, such as the dissolution of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The NTF-ELCAC is known for its “red-tagging” attacks against activists. Disbanding the NTF-ELCAC would also mean the abolishment of Executive Order 70 of 2018 on combatting the communist insurgency, on the basis of which the NTF-ELCAC was formed.

Ephraim Cortez, Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), emphasized in an interview that the recent SC-decision is crucial to prevent future “red-tagging” activities. This was also pointed out by Siegfried Deduro, on whose application for an amparo procedure the SC-decision was based.


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