'Clear threat': Ex-SC justices seek Solgen comment on Parlade's social media post
This composite photo shows former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and retired Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, Boy Santos

'Clear threat': Ex-SC justices seek Solgen comment on Parlade's social media post

(Philstar.com) - January 25, 2021 - 9:35pm

MANILA, Philippines — Petitioners against the controversial Anti-Terror Law on Monday sought before the Supreme Court for the solicitor general to explain a social media post by a military general tagging those contesting the legislation as having armed communist ties which they described as a "clear threat."

Retired Supreme Court justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales led others in a petition asking Solicitor General Jose Calida if posts by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade should be considered an official communication from government.

Parlade, who has had a long record of blatantly tagging individuals and institutions as having ties with the CPP-NPA without proof, wrote in a Facebook post that "very soon, blood debts will be settled" addressing petitioners, and that "the long arm of the law will catch up on you and your supporters."


Such incident of "red-tagging" which had often resulted in dangers for those named, are no longer new coming from Parlade, who is the armed forces' commander for southern Luzon.

Recently, he had rehashed his unsubstantiated claim that 18 schools in Metro Manila are breeding grounds for the CPP-NPA, an allegation that universities rebuked. For this and many other documented cases, he is facing criminal and administrative charges before the Ombudsman.

And while Parlade did not name Carpio or Carpio Morales, he did mention lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc in Congress who are contesting as well as the legality of the anti-terror law.

"Petitioners believe this is a matter of serious concern that requires judicial remedy as the post, if indeed made by a state actor, construes the [anti-terror law] to be able to penalize the right to seek judicial relief before the Honorable Court," the petition read. "Designed to intimidate, the post also amounts to interference with the [court's] power to administer justice, as it is directed to the parties and their counsel days before the matter is heard."

Among those joining the petition are former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te, UP professor Jay Batongbacal, Dante Gatmaytan, Victoria Loanzon, Anthony Charlemagne Yu, Francisco Ashley Acedillo and Tierone James Santos.

Together, they asked the high court to direct Calida to turn in a written explanation before February 2, when oral arguments are set for the anti-terror law, "confirming whether or not the social media post" is an official government messaging, including the circumstances behind it and its intent.

"The post is a clear threat to Petitioners Carpio, Carpio Morales, et al. for seeking redress before the Honorable Court. Though some portions directly name specific persons, the post also groups together petitioners as part of "individuals, groups and organizations" who should be monitored for "opposing a law that will protect citizens from terrorists," the petition added.

Enacted in July 2020, the anti-terror law is facing 37 petitions before the Supreme Court to strike it down as unconstitutional. The oral arguments were originally set on January 19, but had since been moved to February 2 after Calida said his staff had contracted the coronavirus.

Many groups have long contested the measure, even before it was signed into law, warning that its provisions and the vagueness of how it defines "terrorism," could be used to stifle dissent and run after government critics.

Since its enactment, two Aetas have already been charged for supposed violation of the measure, while only recently, the defense department ended its accord with state-run University of the Philippines after the CPP-NPA was named a terrorist group by the Anti-Terrorism Council which was created under the said law.

The oral arguments in February will see legal luminaries, eight lawyers in particular, including ex-solicitor general Jose Anselmo Cadiz and former law dean Chel Diokno, presenting their case in a bid for the court to strike down the highly contested legislation. — Christian Deiparine with reports from Kristine Joy Patag and Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 22, 2021 - 10:14am

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Law on July 3 despite opposition from rights groups and civil society groups that it could be used to stifle human rights.

A petition against the law has been filed at the Supreme Court and other groups are preparing pleadings of their own.

Follow this page for updates. Photo courtesy of The STAR/Michael Varcas 

February 22, 2021 - 10:14am

The fourth day of Oral arguments on the petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Law, which was scheduled on February 23, is suspended.

The Supreme Court says the oral arguments will resume on March 2 at 2:30 p.m.

SC clerk of court Edgar Aricheta says some of the justices are on self quarantine as a precaution against COVID-19.

February 9, 2021 - 3:10pm

Solicitor General Jose Calida says Aeta farmers Japer Gurung and Junior Ramos are withdrawing their petition-in-intervention to join the legal fight against the Anti-Terrorism Act.

He says, citing affidavits from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples' and the Public Attorney's Office, that the two say they were offered P1,000 to sign the petition.

They say they did not sign the petition-in-intervention voluntarily.

February 4, 2021 - 8:52pm

Inquirer.net condemns the threat of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. to sue reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas for her report on two Aetas who sought help from the Supreme Court against the anti-terrorism law.

Parlade accused Torres-Tupas as a propagandist in a Facebook post on February 3.

"INQUIRER.net takes vigorous exception to the apparent red-tagging of our reporter and expresses alarm over Parlade’s attempt to sow fear, stifle dissent and curtail her right to make truthful and objective reports," Inquirer.net says in a statement.

January 25, 2021 - 9:01pm

Retired Supreme Court justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales urge the high court to confirm whether social media post attributed to "Antonio Parlade" is an official communication from the government. 

The petitioners ask the SC to direct the Office of the Solicitor General to write an explanation about the post advising the public to be "watchful of groups opposing the anti-terror law.

"Though some portions directly name specific persons, the Post also groups together petitioners as part of 'individuals, groups and organizations' who should be monitored for 'pposing a law that will protect citizens from terrorists,'" the petition read.

January 15, 2021 - 4:25pm

The Supreme Court resets oral arguments on anti-terrorism law petitions to February 2, after Solicitor General Jose Calida said his assistant solicitor general and some staff tested positive for COVID-19. — Philstar.com/Kristine Joy Patag

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