19 July 2023

Statement of BAYAN Emeritus Chairperson Carol Pagaduan-Araullo on the Filing of Civil Damages suit against notorious redtaggers Lorraine Badoy-Partosa and Jeffrey Celiz

I am filing today a civil damages lawsuit against Lorraine Badoy-Partosa and Jeffrey Celiz, two notorious redtaggers/terrorist labelers because they have incessantly and wantonly engaged in a vilification spree to demonize me and tar my good name and that of my organization, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).

My purpose is to exact accountability for their false, baseless and malicious public statements against me so that they will stop this pernicious practice not only against me and other social activists but for many more who they have categorized as “enemies of the state” because of their critical or oppositionist stance — artists, lawyers, doctors, human rights advocates, trade unionists, teachers, land reform and environment protection advocates, media practicioners and many more — to government policies or programs and crimes and abuses committed by persons in authority.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "UPI Martyrs and Heroes HỤ #StandWithCarol #ActivistNotTerrorist #NoToRedTagging #NEVERAGAIN RAGAIN"
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Why only now? I had previously chosen to ignore these two redtaggers’ scurrilous attacks against my integrity and non-stop diatribe masquerading as legitimate news and commentary. I thought that my unbesmirched reputation and clean track record as a social activist and leader of the progressive alliance, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), would be enough to prevail over their lies and attempts at character assasination.

Unfortunately, in the age of rampant disinformation on social media platforms, boosted by the budget of the NTF-ELCAC in the billions as well as unscrupolous so-called media entities like the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) owned by one self-proclaimed “appointed son of God” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, these lies repeated over and over seem to have become accepted as truth, at least by their unsuspecting followers and others who do not know me or of me. And my not taking any legal steps to defend myself and make these redtaggers accountable has been misconstrued by some as an indication of a weak defense, if not actual guilt.

Worse, not only myself, but the organization I lead as well as my son, journalist Alfonso Tomas “Atom” Araullo, have become the targets of their incessant redtagging/terrorist labelling.

I am acutely aware that redtagging of others has resulted in extrajudicial killings and massacres, enforced disappearance, baseless searches of offices and residences, arbitrary arrest and detention on trumped-up cases including the draconian Anti-terrorism Law and many other forms of human rights violations. I may be less vulnerable than those in the rural areas, or those who are not as well-known, but the threats to my security and well being are no less real.

Most important of all, I am filing these complaints in behalf of those who do not have the means, the opportunity and support system to do so but who are experiencing redtagging/terrorist labelling and the harassment, if not actual terror, this brings. I hope to encourage more of them to come forward and file their own complaints.

I have been told that it is about time these redtaggers are made accountable. That is what I hope this lawsuit — and others to follow — will accomplish. #

Categories: Statements


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