‘Careless, totally unnecessary,’ Lacson says of Parlade’s remarks vs reporter
MANILA, Philippines — Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s remarks against INQUIRER.net reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas were “careless” and “totally unnecessary” and does not help the government convince the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, one of the law’s proponents said.
“Coming at a time when the [Solicitor General] is defending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 against 37 petitions, particularly on the issue involving ‘overbreadth doctrine’ among others, such remarks from a high ranking military official is uncalled for and totally unnecessary,” Senator Panfilo Lacson, who also chairs the Senate national defense committee, told INQUIRER.net on Thursday.
Lacson pointed out that there are basic freedoms that remain to be protected and upheld under the anti-terror law, particularly the freedom of speech or expression.
“Accusing a journalist of ‘aiding the terrorists by spreading lies,’ assuming that such comment was accurately attributed to him, surely does not help the government to convince the magistrates of the SC to rule in its favor,” the senator said.
In a Facebook post, Parlade slammed Torres-Tupas over her story entitled “Tortured Aetas seek SC help against anti-terror law,” a story which is based on a petition filed before the Supreme Court.
In his post, the military official questioned whether Torres-Tupas’ sources were allegedly “propaganda machinery” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Parlade, who also serves as the spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Insurgency (NTF-ELCAC) further said in the comments section, when asked whether a case can be filed against the reporter, that she could be held liable for “aiding the terrorists by spreading lies.”
“While [Defense Secretary] Delfin Lorenzana should be commended for taking a step backward in agreeing to open the lines for future discussions with UP President Danny Concepcion in finding a common ground to resolve the issues involving the state’s security concerns and the UP alumni’s time-honored academic freedom, AFP Lt. Gen. Parlade keeps opening new fronts for the defense establishment to address which could have been avoided but for his careless and insensitive remarks,” Lacson said.
Media organizations and other groups have earlier condemned Parlade’s comments against Torres-Tupas, saying it reinforced “the myriad of objections and criticisms” against the anti-terror law.
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