May 2, 2022 (9:25 PM)

4 min read


CAMPAIGNING FOR THE OPPOSITION. Davao Youth for Leni volunteers were challenged by
red-tagging and harassment in their house-to-house campaigns for presidential bet Leni Robredo. Photo courtesy of Youth for Leni – Davao City

Davao Youth For Leni (DFYL) volunteers reported that red-tagging is among the challenges faced by their group on top of harassment, amidst house to house campaigns in Davao City.

“Daghan jud red-tagging even mag house to house mi, mao jud na ilang gina-ingon na mga NPA daw mi…or NPA si leni,” DFYL Head Rose Quimod told Atenews, sharing the youth volunteer group’s experiences with red-tagging.

Quimod added that even some of the volunteers were red-tagged by their own relatives after campaigning for opposition presidential bet Leni Robredo.

“…Even sa among family, gina redtag na mi… Kay naa daw mi diria, kay ‘pink’ daw mi, nag support daw mi kay Leni,” she continued. 

However, the group leader admitted that some of the volunteers were not well-informed of what the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is or where the communist ideology came from. 

Quimod shared that they try their best efforts to explain these issues to the group, and they made it clear to their fellow volunteers that they are not supporting the CPP-NPA. 

“Amoa jud gina pasabot diri na ‘di man mi NPA, wa man mi nag take ug arms, nag support lang man mi ug candidate, ug among grupo wala sad mi naga support ug violence labi na kining mga kabataan,” she clarified. 

Quimod said that the volunteers from DFYL are firmly fighting for “matino, mahusay, at masipag na pamumuno” which they believe presidential and vice-presidential candidates Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan could give the country.

On red-tagging, threats, and harassment: “Musukol mi”

When asked how the group handles red-tagging and harassment, Quimod said that as the DFYL head, she urges her volunteers to fight back.

“Kaning grupoha ni, akoa dyud ginatudlo saila na musukol jud. Labi na naa mi diri sa Davao na dili mi magpa hadlok-hadlok lang kay kabalo mi hadlok-hadlok lang ilang ginabuhat saamo,” she asserted.

She said that even when they encounter red-taggers and harassers in their campaigns or in their Facebook page, they refuse to ignore or delete comments.

“Dili mi ingon na pasagdan lang, ginatubag gyud namo… Kay para at least maopen pud ang topic sa ila ba ug kanang kabalo sila musukol gyud among grupo,” Quimod said.

However, the DFYL head emphasized that whenever they respond to red-taggers and harassers, they make sure to do it politely.

“Mutubag mi but politely… Para wala sila’y maingon sa amoa or baliktaron among grupo na mang harass,” she said.

Local, national candidates denounce DFYL harassment, call on authorities for an investigation

Davao City First District representative candidate Mags Maglana, who is running against incumbent Paolo Duterte, condemned the harassment incidents towards the youth volunteer group.

In an interview with Davao Today on the DFYL harassment incident that took place after the Caravan of Hope, Maglana said motivating the people of Davao to participate in the 2022 elections will not happen “if attacks on people who hold different views and stands continue to persist.”

“Harassment in elections has no space in democratic institutions and an occasion where people will choose and give legitimate mandates to people who vie for leadership and service,” Maglana said.

Senatorial candidate Atty. Chel Diokno likewise said in a statement that he “condemn[s] this blatant disrespect of our volunteers and flagrant violation of the right to campaign, which is part of our freedom of expression.”

This was after Diokno’s team received reports that the DFYL volunteers  were harassed by village officials during their campaigns, where they were shouted at and barred from the houses.

According to Diokno, one of their lawyers is already closely monitoring the case.

“To our Davao Youth for Leni members, isang mahigpit na yakap sa inyo. Chel lang kayo. We have your back,” the senatorial candidate added.

Both Maglana and Diokno in different statements called for the authorities to act upon the incidents and hold people behind the harassment accountable.

On February 11, SunStar Davao reported that police authorities were already conducting an investigation regarding the harassment incidents.

According to Davao City Office (DCPO) Spokesperson Maria Teresita Gaspan, they had already received the police complaint filed by Robredo’s youth volunteers and that the San Pedro Police Station is already handling the case.

“We are still conducting [an] investigation to determine if it is election-related,” the DCPO official said.

As of writing, the authorities have not yet released any updates on the development of the DFYL harassment case.

The article was previously published in the Election Issue 2022 of Atenews. Read it here:

End the silence of the gagged!

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