(Editor's Note: The Manila Times is reposting the article below to correct the reference to ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro from the 6th to the 8th paragraphs as "he" instead of "she". Our apologies.)

THE Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives on Friday criticized Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa after he filed a bill seeking to ban party-list groups linked with rebels and terrorists.

House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro accused dela Rosa of trying to target the progressive party-list organizations.

"A legislated red-tagging that will not only affect the Makabayan bloc but all genuine marginalized sectors that should be represented by party-list groups," Castro said.

Dela Rosa has filed Senate Bill 201 seeking to disqualify from the party-list elections groups "directly or indirectly participat[ing] in acts detrimental to the best interest of the government, to overthrow the government or diminish its powers."

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Castro said the Marcos administration should focus its energy in addressing urgent issues of the people.

"Its red-tagging threats and harassment will not help alleviate the suffering of the people due to rising prices of basic goods," she noted.

She said the measure is a desperate attempt of the government to silence the Makabayan bloc.

"Lies and fake news will never win over the truth and genuine love and desire to serve the people," she noted.

Dela Rosa wants to prohibit party-list organizations "associated by any means" with rebels or persons formally tagged by the government as terrorists from participating in elections by expanding the grounds for the refusal or cancellation of registration of these civilian political groups with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).