Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has summoned controversial Southern Luzon Command chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. to a meeting to explain his side regarding his comments against female celebrities being linked to leftist groups.
Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. is summoned for a meeting to explain his side regarding his comments against female celebrities being linked to leftist groups.
At the sidelines of an event in the Philippine Army, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said that he called Parlade and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon to attend the meeting that convened.
“I am convening a meeting with these people, si General Parlade, si General Esperon saka member ng ELCAC,” Lorenzana said, referring to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“Kasi ang vice chair ng ELCAC ay si Secretary Esperon eh, member lang ako doon. Because of this brouhaha na lumalaki, I think we should talk kung ano ba talaga ang magandang gawin,” he added.
Parlade came under fire Thursday after he cautioned actress Liza Soberano against having ties with Gabriela Women’s Party, which the military has linked to communist rebels. His statement, which was posted on Facebook, also mentioned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and actress Angel Locsin.
In response, several lawmakers accused Parlade of “red-tagging” Soberano, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Angel Locsin without any solid evidence other than speaking on issues about women’s rights.
Parlade already denied that he red-tagged Soberano.
Lorenzana said officials should not link any personality to communist groups if they cannot offer any evidence to support their accusations.
“Ang thoughts ko diyan, kung wala kang ebidensya, do not talk about it. Huwag ka magpunta sa media, Facebook,” he said.
“Dapat may ebidensya tayo bago mo sabihin na leftist ‘yan, NPA (New Peoples Army) ‘yan. Dapat may ebidensya tayo, otherwise, just keep quiet.”
However, Parlade’s superior, Armed Forces chief General Gilbert Gapay, said his subordinate was just reminding the public, including celebrities, about the agenda of the Communist Party of the Philippines, noting that anyone could be indoctrinated and be used by the group for their revolutionary purposes.
“Ito namang statement ni General Parlade is a reminder to all that kasi anybody could be victims… from all walks of life, the vulnerable ones,” Gapay said.
Gapay said that Parlade’s comments were “in line” with the military’s program of “shielding and protecting certain group of persons particularly vulnerable ones from the recruitment of the CPP-NPA”.
The AFP chief stressed that there are more peaceful ways of advocating fot changes in society, however using violence is not among them.
“Totoo naman kasi ‘to dahil we have encountered on many occasions, sadly ‘yung iba namatay pa, these are students which are affiliated with the front organizations of the CPP-NPA, like Gabriela and other similar front organizations na tumawid doon sa NPA organization, naging kadre,” Gapay said.
“Okay lang naman ‘yun ‘yung voice out of sentiments for the greater good of our society, but once you bear arms and you join the armed component of the CPP-NPA and you fight the government eh iba na ‘yun, because we really prohibit ‘yung armed, the use of violence in advancing changes in society,” he added. Rommel F. Lopez