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Human rights group Karapatan files charges vs gov’t officials

HUMAN rights group Karapatan on Friday filed criminal and administrative charges against several government officials for allegedly maligning and red-tagging the alliance’s officers and members.

The complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman names the following: National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.; General Antonio, Parlade Jr., head of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Insurgency; Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Deputy Executive Director Mocha J. Uson, a former undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office; and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy.

The 40-page complaint cites various instances when the respondents allegedly committed “acts that malign, vilify and baselessly red-tag KARAPATAN’s officers and members.”

The complaint said the respondents’ red-tagging of Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, the group itself, and its members and officers violates the principle of distinction under international and domestic humanitarian law.

The charges are based on provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, and the Ombudsman Act of 1989. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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