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IBON Foundation files complaint vs military, gov’t officials

RESEARCH GROUP IBON Foundation, Inc. (IBON) filed an administrative complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday against a former high-ranking military officer and two government officials for red-tagging the institution. Facing the complaint are former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations Antonio Parlade Jr., Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. The research group is asking the Ombudsman to hold respondents answerable for their “malicious abuse of authority, negligent performance of duties as public officials” and for “conduct that is grossly disregardful of the public interest, unprofessional, unjust and insincere, politically biased, unresponsive to the public, distorting nationalism and patriotism, and undemocratic.” IBON said they filed the complaint after a year of “constant vilification” by the respondents.

The most recent, mentioned in the complaint, was when Ms. Badoy called IBON a “communist front” on the One News program “The Chiefs” in January. IBON Research Head Rosario Guzman was on the show at the same episode to present their fact-checking of the PCOO’s ‘Duterte Legacy’ information materials. IBON maintains that it is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered foundation that publishes socio-political-economic analysis. “Its researches enjoy a reputation of being independent, evidence-based, and credible. It is because of this reputation that its researches on social justice, real economic development, environmental sustainability and democracy, among many others, are widely used by various non-government and people’s organizations in pursuit of their own advocacy work,” part of the complaint read. Genshen L. Espedido