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The Philippine Government and the Red Tagging of Journalists

A cartoon originally for the Philippine political cartoonist group Pitik Bulag.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) conducted a survey and focus group discussions (FGD) among journalists who have been red-tagged during the presidencies of Duterte and Marcos. Red tagging is when the government or military forces accuses someone of being a communist insurgent, which makes the accused vulnerable to being harassed, jailed or even killed.

The study found that as high as 60% of the red-tagging incidents in the last eight years have been state-sponsored, and 19.8% of the red-tagging by State employed the intimidating method of dropping by, or sending a letter, where State agents cite different government policies as basis.

The rest of the red-tagging incidents were perpetrated by influencers or unknown individuals or groups. The red-tagging incidents by unknown perpetrators sometimes used physical methods like posters, but used mostly social media platforms that were amplified by the network of pro-Duterte or pro-Marcos accounts.

"Government behind majority of red-tagging cases involving journalists – NUJP study" by Jairo Bolledo for Rappler

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