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Philippines: Govt. declares NGOs Oxfam and Farmers Development Center as fronts for communist terrorist groups

Author: Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Published on: 11 November 2019

"Red-tagged Oxfam, NCCP slam military for 'malicious, careless' attack", 6 Nov 2019

After raiding offices of activist organizations in Manila and Bacolod, Philippine security officials are now openly declaring longtime humanitarian...organizations here as communist fronts.

...Oxfam sa Pilipinas, and Farmers Development Center (Fardec) were among the 18 organizations red-tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND)...

Oxfam denied it is a front for communist terrorist groups, saying they are a development and humanitarian organization that has been assisting several communities in the country in the past 3 decades. It is part of the 19 organizations under Oxfam International that conducts humanitarian missions across the world.

Oxfam warned red-tagging them puts their partner communities at risk...

Patrick Torres, executive director of Central Visayas Fardec, also denied their group is a front for the Communist Party of the Philippines.

...Torres explained Fardec is a non-governmental organization that has been helping farmers' groups in Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental – from educating them about their rights to promoting climate-resilient sustainable agriculture.

Torres said Fardec was red-tagged because their work with farmers has forced them to be critical of government policies that hurt their beneficiaries, such as infrastructure projects that displaced farmers and the rice tarrification law.

"We were also vocal in condemning the violence that claimed the lives of many farmers especially in the island of Negros where more than 80 people were killed since 2017. This is why we believe that we were included in this list to silence our advocacy for the rights of our farmers," said Torres...

AFP and DND officials bared to lawmakers the list of alleged communist fronts amid the government's ongoing crackdown against progressive and human rights groups in the country...

 

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