SC orders OSG to comment on Parlade’s red-tag post vs ATA petitioners
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the manifestation and motion filed by Anti-Terror Act (ATA) petitioners led by retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and retired Associate Justice and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales over a Facebook post of a military official that red-tagged those against the new law.
In its resolution dated January 26 but only made public on Friday, the high court gave the OSG 10 days from notice to comment on the post made by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., commander of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Carpio and Morales earlier called on the SC to require the OSG to explain if the statement of Parlade, who has had a history of word war with progressive groups due to his remarks linking them to the communist movement, is the official position of the government.
The two retired justices also wanted the high court to order the OSG to give Parlade’s basis for issuing such statements including details on the source, circumstances behind and intent of his post.
Parlade made the social media post a few days before the initial schedule of oral arguments on petitions questioning the legality of the ATA on January 19, which was later moved to February 2.
A portion of the military official’s post read: “The SC will soon be hearing petitions against the Anti-Terror Law. Let’s be watchful of these individuals, groups, and organizations opposing a law that will protect our citizens from terrorists. What’s their agenda?”
Parlade then went on mentioning the names of some Makabayan bloc lawmakers at the House of Representatives, “and the rest of these CPP representatives and colleagues, including NUPL [National Union of People’s Lawyers].”
“The Day of Judgment is upon you and the Filipino people, who have suffered enough from the malignant hands of the CPP NPA NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front] of which you are part of, sit in judgment,” he also said in the post.
“Very soon, blood debts will be settled. The long arm of the law will catch up on you, and your supporters,” he added.
The motion filed by the anti-terror petitioners noted that Parlade’s post is “a matter of serious concern that requires judicial remedy,” and that it is “designed to intimidate.”
There are currently 37 petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act pending before the Supreme Court, making it the most highly contested law since the Cybercrime Prevention Act.