The surge of red-tagging against progressive legislators and outspoken celebrities during the current budget season is calculated to maintain and secure more funds for the military’s campaign against perceived insurgents and terrorists.
This is reminiscent of the military’s foisting the paranoia of “budgetary Huks” during the decades covering the 1950s to 1960s to dramatize the need for more allocations to subdue the erstwhile Hukbalahap (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon).
After the end of World War II, the Huks fought for socio-economic reforms, including the emancipation of landless farmers, and were tagged as communists.
“Budgetary red-tagging” now coincides with the Congress’ crafting and approving the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Red-tagging appears to be relentlessly pursued by military officials to justify the retention of the recently formed National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which has a huge budgetary outlay of close to P20-billion and has been labeled as the “military’s pork barrel”.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN