The University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM) demanded a public apology from the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Melvin Mitra for baselessly red-tagging the organization.

(photo from UP Mountaineers Facebook)

In a statement, UPM urged Mitra to retract his statement as it “carelessly endangers innocent lives” by branding them as “enemies of the state.”

The organization reiterated that red-tagging puts all their members at great risk of harassment and personal attacks.

“Therefore, we demand a public apology from Mr. Mitra and retraction of his false statement. We likewise enjoin the NTF-ELCAC to take down the video and any other materials that contain Mr. Mitra’s false statement,” its statement read.

In a video released by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCA) on Facebook, Mitra labeled UPM as “a group heavily influenced” by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Founded in 1977, UPM has advocated for responsible mountaineering and environmental protection. It also focused on biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable livelihoods, and emergency and disaster response.

“We intend to keep on pursuing our advocacies, free from any false accusations, threats, and harassment,” it ended.

Source: Manila Bulletin (