Drilon asks Duterte to give urgent stamp on red-tagging bill

SENATE Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Wednesday urged President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent the bill seeking to criminalize red-tagging, or linking a person or group to communist rebels.

Mr. Drilon’s statement came after the call of Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra to Congress on Tuesday to pass a measure that will define and penalize red-tagging.

“With the opinion of the Secretary of Justice, we urge President Duterte to certify as urgent the passage of Senate Bill 2121 which we filed to punish red-tagging by state agents,” Mr. Drilon said in a statement.

“The opinion of the Secretary of Justice that there is a gap in the law as red tagging is presently not a criminal offense under our laws, makes the passage of SB 2121 which we filed imperative,” he added.

The bill, filed last month, defines the act and seeks to impose a penalty of 10-year imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from holding office for those convicted.

Mr. Drilon said red-tagging endangers the life and safety of victims. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas