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Parlade says sorry after remark vs red-tagged journalist

/ 09:20 AM February 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. apologized Tuesday after his controversial remark against INQUIRER.net journalist Tetch Torres-Tupas who reported on a petition against the Anti-Terror Law in the Supreme Court.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Parlade, who serves as spokesperson of the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), said he is willing to meet Torres-Tupas following the issue.

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Critics slammed the military official for tagging the journalist as “propagandist” and threatening to inflict the Anti-Terrorism Act against Torres-Tupas.

“Gusto nila mag-apologize ako. As a person, nagalit din ako at offended ako doon sa report nila, I will not. But as a member of NTF-ELCAC, I could probably apologize if nadadawit ko yung NTF-ELCAC,” Parlade said.

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“That’s not the intent. Ang intent natin, sino ba ang papansin ng mga maling report nito?” he added.

Parlade said it was not his intent to sow fear on the Torres-Tupas.

“Gusto nila mag-apologize ako. As a person, nagalit din ako at offended ako doon sa report nila, I will not. But as a member of NTF-ELCAC, I could probably apologize if nadadawit ko yung NTF-ELCAC,” Parlade said.

“But really, kung ‘yun lang naman ang kailangan just to assure Ms. Tupas that we mean no harm to her, of course, I’d like to say sorry to those circulating the news that I am threatening her, I’m not,” Parlade said.

Asked what he is exactly apologizing for, Parlade said: “Kasi ang lumalabas, parang natatakot na si Tetch for my statements. That’s also because of the way the media portrays this issue, but personally, wala akong intention kay Tetch na ganyan ang maramdaman niya.”

‘Personal post’

Parlade said the post he made on social media was only his personal opinion and was not strictly the policy of the NTF-ELCAC, of which he is an official. He insisted that he is not going overboard with his remarks.

“I made that post on my personal wall in Facebook so NTF-ELCAC has nothing to do with that comment. It’s based on citizen Parlade’s response to that careless report of this Inquirer reporter,” Parlade said.

“I’m speaking there as a citizen. I also have my rights to react to these false accusations of our media friends. They’re friends as far as I’m concerned, they’re real friends. At this time, I think sila ‘yung nag-overstep,” he added.

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Nonetheless, Parlade said he is not suing Torres-Tupas.

In a post on his Facebook page, Parlade branded Torres-Tupas’ story on a petition filed by two alleged communist rebels against the Anti-Terror Law as “fake” and “propaganda.”

Parlade suggested that Torres-Tupas’ story was obtained from the US-based Human Rights Watch and media group Kodao, which he both tagged as “propaganda machines” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“Congratulations for a sloppy work Tetch Torres-Tupaz (sic) of Inquirer.net. You did not even bother to check the side of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and gov’t if what you are reporting is true or FAKE. Propagandista. No such thing happened. That unit is not even there but in Davao,” Parlade said in his post.

Responding to a question from a netizen on his post whether charges could be filed against Torres-Tupas, he replied: “Aiding the terrorists by spreading lies? Puede (Possible).”

‘What fake news?’

Various media groups, including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and the Justice and Court Reporters Association, of which Torres-Tupas is a member, denounced Parlade’s “sweeping remarks.”

Torres-Tupas, in an article, likewise answered one-by-one the allegations of Parlade and discussed the nitty-gritty of a justice beat reporter’s job, which relied mainly on documents and  pleadings, given the nature of the beat.

She further explained that the article that Parlade found “biased” for reportage of perceived communist-leaning individuals are actually based on court manifestations which the parties in a case at the Supreme Court submitted.

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TAGS: NTF-ELCAC, Parlade, Tetch Torres-Tupas
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