Supreme Court Grants Writ of Amparo, Ruling on Red-Tagging Threat to Life, Liberty, and Security

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The Supreme Court’s Declaration on Red-Tagging and the Writ of Amparo

The recent decision by the Supreme Court regarding red-tagging has significant implications for the protection of an individual’s fundamental rights. In the case of Siegfred Deduro, an activist and former Bayan Muna party-list representative, the court granted a writ of amparo, recognizing that red-tagging poses a threat to a person’s right to life, liberty, and security.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a writ of amparo is a legal remedy available to individuals whose rights have been violated or are under threat due to the unlawful actions of public officials or private entities. It serves as a means of seeking protection and redress for such violations.

In this particular case, the Supreme Court ruled that the writ should be issued against Major General Eric Vinoya, the commanding officer of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, or his replacement. The court records indicate that Deduro claimed officers under Vinoya explicitly identified him as a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army during a meeting of the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council on June 19, 2020.

According to Deduro, the content of this presentation was reported by several media outlets. Additionally, he alleged that posters were displayed in various locations in Iloilo City, labeling him as a criminal and terrorist. These actions prompted him to file a petition for a writ of amparo before the regional trial court, seeking protection from Vinoya and his subordinates.

The Implications of the Supreme Court’s Ruling

The Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Deduro has significant implications for the issue of red-tagging in the Philippines. Red-tagging refers to the act of labeling individuals or groups as members or supporters of communist or terrorist organizations, often leading to harassment, intimidation, and even violence.

By recognizing that red-tagging poses a threat to an individual’s right to life, liberty, and security, the Supreme Court sends a strong message that such actions will not be tolerated. This ruling serves as a warning to those who engage in red-tagging that they may be held accountable for their actions.

Bayan Muna, a progressive political party, has welcomed the court’s decision. Carlos Isagani Zarate, the executive vice president of Bayan Muna, expressed that this ruling represents a reversal of the Supreme Court’s previous stance on red-tagging. Zarate believes that it will serve as a fair warning to individuals like Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz and Lorraine Marie Badoy, who have been known for their involvement in red-tagging activities.

International Perspectives on Red-Tagging and Human Rights

While the issue of red-tagging is particularly relevant in the context of the Philippines, it is important to note that similar practices and concerns exist in other parts of the world as well. The violation of an individual’s rights based on their political beliefs or affiliations is a matter of concern for human rights organizations globally.

International human rights standards, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, protect the rights to life, liberty, and security of every individual. These rights are fundamental and should be upheld by governments and institutions worldwide.

Red-tagging, or any form of labeling or stigmatization that puts individuals at risk, goes against the principles of human rights and undermines the foundation of a just and democratic society. It is essential for governments to address and prevent such practices to ensure the protection of their citizens’ rights and the promotion of a safe and inclusive society.


The Supreme Court’s declaration on red-tagging and the granting of a writ of amparo in the case of Siegfred Deduro highlight the importance of protecting individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and security. This decision sends a clear message that red-tagging is a violation of these fundamental rights and will not be tolerated.

While the ruling is specific to the Philippines, the issue of red-tagging resonates with international concerns regarding the protection of human rights. It is crucial for governments worldwide to address and prevent practices that put individuals at risk based on their political beliefs or affiliations.

By upholding the principles of human rights and ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals, societies can strive towards a more just and inclusive future.

Source: The Manila Times

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