Solon red-tagged by Parlade calls him a ‘publicly-funded Halloween mascot’
MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. is nothing but a “publicly-funded Halloween mascot” for trying to “scare off” women’s rights advocates amid alleged red-tagging of some lawmakers and celebrities.
Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas, whose organization was labeled by Parlade as “part of a terrorist organization,” said in an online press briefing Friday that it is Parlade who is acting like a “terrorist” by scaring off those who are only looking after the welfare of others.
“Parlade is a publicly-funded Halloween mascot for repeatedly scaring off and threatening women’s rights advocates,” said Brosas, who claimed to have also been red-tagged by the military official.
Brosas claimed that actress Angel Locsin and her sister Ella Colmenares — two of several women warned off by Parlade — have been known for helping others in times of natural disasters.
Parlade, a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Insurgency (NTF-ELCAC), a group created by President Duterte to stamp out insurgency in the barangay level, earlier claimed that Colmenares is involved in communist groups.
He likewise claimed that Locsin was aware of her sister’s alleged involvement in these underground activities.
“Kung tingin ni Parlade ay may naloloko siya sa sinasabi nya, nagkakamali siya. Hindi terrorismo ang pagtulong sa kapwa. Siya pa nga itong umaastang terorista sa ginagawa niyang pananakot sa mga nagmamalasakit sa kapwa,” Brosas said.
Brosas renewed her call to scrap NTF-ELCAC’s budget and instead give additional funds to other social services and public hospitals.
“Sa kapalpakang ito ng red-tagging arm ng gobyerno, lumalabas na palpak din talaga ang anti insurgency na kanilang ginagawa. Dapat imbestigahan kung saan ba talaga ginagamit ang mga pondo dito,” Brosas said.
“Ipanawagan natin na kung seryoso talaga ang gobyerno na tugunan ang mga ugat, ang mga talagang pinagmumulan ng armed conflict dapat umupo sa usapang pangkapayapaan ang gobyerno na ito,” she added.
Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite, meanwhile, said that the current “witchhunt” for supposed members of communist groups were taken from a “very very old playbook.”
“Lumang playbook na yan, they are so predictable sabi nga nila,” Gaite said.
“Pero ang hindi predictable ay ang pagkilos ng mamamayan, yung natanggap nilang backlash dun sa pag red tag sa mga artista, mga celebrities tulad ni Angel Locsin, ni Catriona Gray, ni Liza Soberano at marami pang iba ay nalalagay ngayon sa depensiba ang gobyerno. Kaya naghahabol sila para baguhin ang kanilang script,” he added.
Likewise ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro said the government’s red-tagging of individuals is being used to distract the public from the issues of corruption under the Duterte administration.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s “Teleradyo,” Parlade admitted that the Makabayan bloc lawmakers were under surveillance for their alleged ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
The Makabayan bloc includes Brosas, Gaite, and Castro as well as Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate and Eufemia Cullamat and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Minority floor leader and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano have since backed the Makabayan lawmakers.
“We may not agree with them on certain issues, but be mindful that these lawmakers are duly elected representatives of the people, and implicating them on issues that have yet to be substantiated is uncalled for,” Velasco said.