Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief (PNA File photo)
MANILA – A ranking military official said all information concerning atrocities and abuses of the communist terrorist group posted on his Facebook (FB) account are all verified and substantiated by former members and allies of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief and a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, made the comment last week after Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate urged the social media giant to make public all fake Facebook accounts, with alleged links to the military and police, that are involved in the red-tagging of progressive and opposition groups.
“Rep. Carlos Zarate can ask FB to look at our FB account and I dare FB to take it down if they see if it is not authentic. I have nothing to hide and what I post there are all verified and substantiated by former cadres of the CPP, former NPA leaders, former recruits of Kamatayan (Makabayan) Bloc who turned NPA terrorists, victims of rape by NPA commanders who by the way are always CPP executives (you cannot be an NPA leader if you are not), IPs who were kidnapped by CPP-NPAs and forced to become NPA slaves for years,” he said in a statement to the Philippine News Agency on Sept. 24.
Aside from being substantiated by actual living persons, Parlade said this information is backed-up by various recovered documents and literature of CPP-NPA cadres, killed or captured by the government, and laptops which implicate the Makabayan Bloc and their various collective alliances.
“They are referenced from the CPP Constitution Plans and Programs, the ‘Limang Taong Programa ng CPP-NPA 2015-2019,’, the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Eco Reforms of the NFP, books written by Roberto Tiglao, Roberto Bobby Garcia, Jovito Salonga, Federico Pascual, Victor Corpus, and even Senate Journals,” he said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Parlade also challenged Zarate to prove that he is posting lies and wrong statements on his Facebook account and have the social media giant take it down for not being authentic.
“Tell me Rep. Zarate, do you think I spread lies? Do you think my account is not authentic? Do you think FB will take down my account on account of fake materials and statements? Let’s see about that,” he added.
Parlade claimed that the problem with the Makabayan Bloc and its allies is that they don’t want the truth to come out regarding its links to the communist terrorists.
“The problem of these Kamatayan (Makabayan) Bloc is not about authentic accounts, fictitious names, or fake news. It’s about curtailing truth which has hounded them since the creation of the NTF ELCAC. It’s about a challenge we pose for them for an open, public debate on the issues of red-tagging, communist-tagging, and the NTF ELCAC budget which they know will crush them to eternity,” he added.
Instead of having Facebook take down the accounts of those critical to the CPP-NPA and its allies, Parlade challenged members of the Makabayan Bloc to a debate.
“So, Kamatayan (Makabayan) Bloc if I were you I will take the challenge for a debate, rather than take down our Facebook accounts whose truth we share, you cannot stop,” he said.
No AFP involvement
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, denied allegations that the military is involved in human rights violations following reports that Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild filed a bill seeking to suspend US military assistance to the Philippines for purported human right abuses.
While Arevalo did not comment directly on Wild’s bill, he reacted to the claims of human rights abuses.
“That is something vehemently denied, in many instances in the past we have been solid, we have been emphatic about our position against human rights violations, that the AFP has no record of any human rights violation then and now,” he said in a virtual conference on Sept 24.
Arevalo added that all AFP personnel are operating within the limits and bounds of respect for human rights, Law of Armed Conflict or International Humanitarian Law, and the provisions contained in Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution pertaining to the Bill of Rights.
“So we say that it is unfair to judge or to pronounce that the AFP is a violator of human rights and for it to be (the) basis of removing aid for the military in case of the Philippines,” he added.
Purely internal to sovereign States
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Ysmael Yu also deferred comment on Wild’s bill saying the suspension of aid to the PNP as the issue is purely internal.
“Much as we are better off to defer comment over issues purely internal to sovereign states, we always welcome and gratefully acknowledge technical assistance extended to the Philippine National Police by foreign governments,” Yu said.
The PNP, Yu said, recognizes these gestures of goodwill among friendly nations and counterpart national police forces as a manifestation of international solidarity against domestic and transnational crime and terrorism. (with Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)