Rappler gets a “red” tag

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CITING fact-checking efforts and alleged misleading post, Presidential Communications Undersecretary and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Spokesperson Lorraine Badoy branded the Rappler media organization as a “friend and ally” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front and its armed wing New People’s Army.

Badoy’s basis emanated from Rappler’s fact check on the term Lumad, which the NTF-ECAC spokesperson claimed as coined by no less than the CPP-NPA.

In a statement posted in its news portal, Rappler condemned what it categorically described as “baseless and irresponsible red-tagging.”

“Rappler strongly condemns Presidential Communications Undersecretary and NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lorraine Badoy for yet another instance of her irresponsible red-tagging. Badoy’s latest tirade stems from two of Rappler’s recent fact check stories. We recently debunked one of her earlier claims that “Lumad” is a term created by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF).”

Rappler likewise said that fact-checking does not make them communists or an ally of the communist, in reference to a claim over another Rappler fact-check on Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, a photo which was shared by Badoy via social media dragging the learning center as a forum where students are taught on becoming communists.

“In addition, Badoy shared our fact check on a photo claiming Alcadev [Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development] was teaching students how to become members of the NPA. Rappler’s fact check team found the photo was from a theater performance. Rappler’s fact check initiative is rooted in a multilevel process of verification to ensure that our reports are accurate. As investigative journalists, we follow a rigorous methodology for all our reports.”

“We are in no way defending the NPA through our fact checks. Rappler will continue to strive for truth and combat disinformation by citing reputable sources in our reports. This mandate is never an indication of terrorism, but of our inclination toward democracy and justice,” the statement further reads.

Rappler reiterated its commitment to present no less than facts, even as the group urged Badoy to “to stick to the facts and to put an end to her relentless habit of baseless red-tagging.”

Rappler also defended their fact check on the term Lumad. According to Rappler, they have three sources to prove Badoy’s claim as false.

Citing the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) website, Rappler said that the term Lumad is a “Bisayan term” meaning “native” or “indigenous.”

The NCCA is a government agency under the Office of the President.

Previously, Badoy has red-tagged a number of individuals, government officials, news organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

·         CNN Philippines

·         College Editors Guild of the Philippines

·         ACT Teachers Representative France Castro

·         Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate

·         Manila Bulletin columnist Tonyo Cruz

·         Journalist Inday Espina-Varona

·         Activists Carol Araullo and Renato Reyes

·         Former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño

The House deferred plenary debates on the proposed budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) twice in September 2020 after Badoy made a categorical claim dragging the Makabayan bloc at the lower legislative chamber as terrorists.

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