Minority leader to ‘loose cannon’ Parlade: Prove claims vs Makabayan or shut up
MANILA, Philippines — Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. should file a case against lawmakers belonged to the Makabayan bloc, whom the government has accused of having links with the communist armed movement if he has enough evidence in hand.
But if he has none, House Minority floor leader and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano said on Monday that the military official, whom he described as sounding like a loose cannon, should just shut up.
Paduano explained in a statement that Parlade’s recent adventurous identification and warnings for those who may be associated with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) may do more harm than good for the government’s anti-insurgency efforts.
“He better file a case in court or shut up if he has no evidence to show,” Paduano said in a statement. “He sounds like a loose cannon and his words can do more harm than good to the government’s anti-insurgency efforts.”
The warning from the Minority leader came after Parlade revealed earlier that former Bayan Muna representative and now party chairperson Neri Colmenares, along with Makabayan bloc lawmakers are currently under surveillance for their ties with the CPP.
“It’s not only him (Colmenares). It’s all the members of the…Makabayan bloc being members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). They are card-bearing members of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Parlade said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
According also to Paduano, the House leadership must act on the issue as no hard evidence has been presented by Parlade, except for insinuations and other allegations.
But if there is no evidence, then the lawmaker suggests that Parlade heed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s reminder to keep quiet if they lack any evidence — especially as the attacks against those bearing leftist ideologies are “unlawful and incriminatory.”
“Unless hard evidence is presented against any member of the House, it is the duty of the entire institution to defend any lawmaker against baseless attacks,” he said.
“We all know that intelligence information gathering is part of military duty, but we cannot allow Parlade to sow fear or even threaten people he merely suspects to have communist links,” he stressed.
Parlade, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Southern Luzon Command, has been a controversial figure again as of late after his advice to actress Liza Soberano and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray — to distance away from Gabriela Women’s party-list — was taken as some form of a veiled threat.
This was after Soberano joined an online forum hosted by Gabriela about safe spaces for women, and other women’s rights issues. Gabriela has been tagged repeatedly by Parlade as a terrorist organization.
According to the three-star general, actress Angel Locsin and Colmenares would not tell Soberano and Gray about the truth behind Ella Colmenares — Locsin’s sister and Colmenares’ cousin — whom he claimed is an NPA member.
Parlade also drew flak after he asked Manila Mayor Isko Moreno whether the mayor is welcoming alleged terrorists from the NPA into the city, after the local executive ordered the removal of tarpaulins in the city, in which CPP, NPA, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) were declared as “persona non grata.”
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