MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to introduce lessons on red-tagging, trolling, and extrajudicial killings in the revised curriculum for Grade 10 students. The proposed curriculum was released last week and falls under the Social Studies subject, which focuses on contemporary issues and societal challenges.
Red-tagging is the practice of labeling individuals or groups who are critical of the government as “communists” or “terrorists.” This practice discredits their statements and puts their lives at risk.
Human rights defenders, political activists, and journalists are among the most common victims of red-tagging, which has been used by the Philippine government for decades in its counterinsurgency efforts, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
The new curriculum aims to educate students about the dangers of red-tagging and other human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings. The latter refers to unlawful killings carried out by government officials, law enforcement personnel, or other individuals acting in the name of the state without due process of law.
The Duterte administration has faced widespread criticism for its bloody anti-drug campaign, which resulted in the deaths of thousands, mostly from the urban poor.
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) submits a complaint about red-tagging
Earlier this month, The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) filed a red-tagging complaint against Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte before the International Labor Organization (ILO).
According to ACT Secretary-General Raymond Basilio, the complaint cited the DepEd’s series of statements linking the group to communist rebels. This includes Duterte’s statements last March 4 and 6 in relation to the transport strike, as well as on March 27, 29, 30, and 31 that connected the Masbate armed conflict to ACT’s call for the hiring of 30,000 teachers.
The group also cited the joint press conference of the DepEd and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict on April 4, which claimed that its leaders are members of communist groups.
“Red-tagging our legal and legitimate unions is a violation of the freedom of association and poses grave dangers to the life of our organization and leaders, as records show that rampant red-tagging preceded all harassments, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention and extrajudicial killings perpetrated against unionist in recent years,” Basilio said. – WhatALife!/Jayve
Also read: DepEd: ‘Quick fix’ or avail warranty of alleged pricey laptops
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