September 27, 2021

Bicol Express News

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Senators protest “red tagging” of Senate employees union; intel chief, Badoy named

Senator Franklin Drilon. Photo from FB

Four Senators lambasted some government officials who “Red-tagged” Senate employees, and jointly said, in a statement on Wednesday, the said employees belonged to a legitimate labor union.

Senators Franklin M. Drilon, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sen. Leila de Lima and Sen. Francis Pangilinan made the joint statement.

“We strongly condemn the red-tagging of the union of Senate employees and we vehemently denounce government officials who continue to label, brand, vilify, and harass individuals and organizations such as SENADO as state enemies and subversives.”

“We have been in the Senate long enough and we can attest that the SENADO union never acted as the “eyes and ears of the CPP-NPA-NDF in the Senate to hijack plans and programs of the government.” These are dangerous allegations to make.”

“Hindi lang ito pag-atake at paninira nang walang batayan sa mga empleyado, kundi mismong sa institusyon ng Senado na kanilang kinakatawan.”

The Sandigan ng mga Empleyadong Nagkakaisa sa Adhikain ng Demokratikong Organisasyon or SENADO is a legitimate union of employees in the Senate.

Through the SENADO, three Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA) had been negotiated on behalf of the Senate employees with previous senate presidents, including Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who led the chamber for over eight years.

SENADO union upholds the interest and welfare of Senate employees, not of any other group.
“Like COVID-19, we must prevent red-tagging from further spreading. Thus, we find it unfortunate and utterly deplorable that there are officials who resort to red-tagging.”

The Senators named two government officials.

They are Intelligence Coordinating Agency director general Alex Paul Monteagudo and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy who made malicious attacks on Senate employees that must not be taken lightly.

The lack of general condemnation and a law which penalizes red-tagging as a crime embolden these government officials and only normalize this prevailing culture of red-tagging.
Hence, the Senate Minority calls for the immediate passage of Senate Bill 2121 or the proposed “Act Defining and Penalizing Red-Tagging”.

“We believe that the passage of this bill will serve as a deterrent against red-tagging. We should punish irresponsible officials who act as enablers of red-tagging.”