Lacson: Senate to summon military officials, Gabriela over red-tagging
This photo shows Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief.
PCOO, file

Lacson: Senate to summon military officials, Gabriela over red-tagging

Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - October 28, 2020 - 3:15pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:47 p.m.) — Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. and other military officials will soon face a Senate panel over "warnings" and accusations hurled by the anti-communist task force's spokesman against celebrities, local government leaders and a women's group.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who chairs the Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, on Wednesday told ABS-CBN that the panel would summon Parlade — spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict — officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Gabriela members in November to discuss red-tagging and red-baiting. 

"So that we can find out what the root of the conflict is when it comes to red-tagging, red-baiting, etc.," Lacson said in Filipino. 

However, the senator said the celebrities who were red-tagged by Parlade — including Angel Locsin, Catriona Gray, and Liza Soberano, — will not be invited to the Senate's probe, as their attendance might be disruptive. 

"There is a good number of [celebrities involved.] If we invite them, the focus might shift from the issue, it might go to the celebrities," Lacson said partially in Filipino. 

He filed Senate Resolution No. 599 which directs the committee on national defense to “exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging/red-baiting of certain celebrities, personalities, institutions, and organizations.” 

The intended outcome, Lacson said in the resolution, is to craft “proper guidelines that will prevent misunderstanding between the public and the military and ensuring the protection of the constitutional rights of the people.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Lacson said Parlade seems committed to his mission against communist rebels but added that the general "over-analyzes and over-talks, with some of his public statements threatening to affect his mission."

"Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, only the court can proscribe a group like the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. On the other hand, the purpose of surveillance work is defeated when the subject becomes aware that he is being tailed," he also said, adding the chief of the Southern Luzon Command could show "a little prudence and self-discipline."

Lacson is principal author at the Senate of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the implementing rules and regulations of which allow the government to publish its list of suspected terrorists online and in the national dailies. 

RELATED: 'Mother of red-tagging': No process yet to remove names from terror list

Catriona: Parlade personally apologized to me

Earlier Wednesday, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said she received a personal apology from Parlade, who warned her and Soberano against "suffering the same fate" as Josephine Anne Lapira —  a 22-year-old student from UP Manila who was killed in a shootout between the military and suspected members of New People's Army in Batangas, in 2017.

He also called on them to denounce Gabriela, even though Gray has never done any work with the women's group.  

Gray told ANC's "Headstart" that Parlade sent her a formal letter to apologize for dragging her name into the issue. 

"I really wish people would take care. No matter if you're a government official, a public servant, in the entertainment industry, or whatever work you may find yourself in, it is very important in this age of misinformation to really be careful of the information you take as truth. And also, to really research and fact-check before making public statements," she added. 

While she appreciated his apology, Gray said Parlade's remarks caused her family to worry. 

"I feel like the way that it was done did not achieve what he intended to do, as he says he intended to do, which was to warn. It actually caused a lot of concern. So, I hope that going forward, if there were any warnings to give, or advice to give, it would be done in the proper means, which i feel is to contact directly to the group or the individual to let your concerns be known in that way." 

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