Solon speaks for AFP, DND: They’re hands off general’s comment Jabidah Massacre ‘fake news’
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) have distanced themselves from a military official’s remark that the Jabidah Massacre was the “original fake news” being used by the Left to “agitate the young to rise against the government.”
Muntinlupa Rep. Rufino Biazon sponsored and defended the DND’s proposed P188.96 billion budget for 2020 during the House plenary debates on Monday (Sept 16). He said the AFP and DND could not be held accountable for the statement of Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade, spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“The AFP-DND maintains that the statement of General Parlade is based on his own research and information that he has access to,” Biazon told Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate who raised the issue.
“It’s definitely not a policy statement, that’s why the AFP-DND cannot be held accountable for that statement,” he added.
Zarate disputed Biazon’s remark and said Parlade’s claim was “uncalled for” and “unwarranted.”
“I think that it’s dangerous that a general, like General Parlade, would issue some sort of policy statement… and we will just say that it’s based on his personal research and the AFP and DND are hands off on it,” Zarate said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“He’s not bringing his own name alone, he represents an institution,” Zarate said.
Biazon said the DND had promised to look into Parlade’s statement cited by the government-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) in August.
“Well here is the original fake news which until now you use, again to agitate the young to rise against the government — the Jabidah Massacre,” Parlade said referring to the massacre of young Moro men who were being trained for an attack to take hold of Sabah, which was at that time subject of an active territorial claim by the Philippines.
The massacre was exposed by the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. as a plot by the then Marcos dictatorship.
Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv denounced Parlade’s remark, saying Moros, have been commemorating the Jabidah Massacre which had “cost dozens upon dozens of young Moro lives.”
The congressman warned that these “revisionism of history” could “fuel radicalism.”
“This revisionism of history does not help our transitional efforts for justice – one that aims to continue healing the country, especially for the families of casualties in the conflict in Mindanao,” Hataman said in a statement.
“The last thing we need right now is the denial and erasure of our history as a people in this country,” he added./TSB
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