By Gaea Katreena Cabico, Philstar Global
MANILA, Philippines (Updated 2:12 p.m.) — The European Parliament has approved a fresh resolution condemning "drug war" killings and the red-tagging of activists and journalists in the Philippines as it warned of possible trade sanctions if calls remain unheeded.
The resolution called on the Philippine government to immediately end violence and human rights violations targeting suspected drug offenders and to stop labeling human rights and environmental defenders, journalists and trade union activists as supporters and allies of communist rebels.
"In this regard, [the European Parliament] calls for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in charge of carrying out red-tagging," the resolution read, which also urged the government to amend the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act and its implementing rules and regulations.
Red-tagged rights alliance Karapatan welcomed the adoption of the resolution, and thanked the members of the European Parliament who voted pass it.
"We also laud the European Parliament, which categorically stated through the said resolution its position for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, as it denounced the practice of red-tagging by government officials against activists, journalists and critics, exposing them to potential harm," the group also said.