Military general booed out of anti-crackdown forum
Video from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL)
MANILA, Philippines – Activists on Wednesday forced Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), out of a forum on the supposed military crackdown on militant groups and administration critics, which was held at the Quezon City Sports Club in Quezon City.
Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said Parlade was there only to “spread lies”
“Today, the incorrigible Gen. Antonio Parlade attended a forum on the weaponization of the law and crackdown on dissenters organized by the National Union of People’s Lawyer and the Movement Against Tyranny,” Reyes said in a statement.
“The forum wanted to highlight the abuses committed against critics of the administration,” he added. “Parlade, however, wanted to use the forum as a platform to spread more of the lies and disinformation being peddled by the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict. Parlade is at the forefront of the vile red-tagging and smear campaign against progressive groups.”
A video, which was sent to reporters by Reyes, shows Parlade being escorted by Dr. Carol Araullo, Bayan chairperson, when he tried to speak during the open forum.
Reyes said the military man’s mere presence was “causing discomfort among forum participants.”
“He insisted on speaking and was booed and chanted out of the venue,” he said.
The forum focused on the recent joint military-police operations where the offices of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and Bayan in the Visayas were raided.
In the offices of Gabriela and Bayan Muna in Bacolod, 57 persons, 10 of them minors, were arrested for allegedly taking part in firearms and explosives training.
Parlade’s relationship — or lack thereof — with left-leaning organizations have been well documented.
In 2018, Parlade said the military had truckloads of evidence to prove that certain organizations acting as legal fronts of communist rebels had been helping the armed struggle.
He said that the group got its funding from organizations in Europe, including the European Union (EU). These funds, he said, were then transferred to the New People’s Army, the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
He was also behind the revelation of the Red October plot — a plan to overthrow the administration allegedly hatched by the leftists and the opposition from the Liberal Party. Such a plot did not materialize, but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that was because it evaporated on being exposed.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, an ally of the militant groups, claimed Parlade was only aiming for a promotion — an accusation that the general denied.
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