Cavite's Remulla urged: Declare Parlade persona non grata instead
This photo released by fishers group PAMALAKAYA shows a Dec. 9, 2019 mobilization at the Department of Agriculture against the recent galunggong importation order. Farmers and fishers groups on Dec. 11, 2019 said that Sen. Cynthia Villar’s comment that people should look for alternatives to galunggong (round scad) if they find it expensive fails to consider the limited food options available to poor Filipinos.
Pamalakaya, Release
Cavite's Remulla urged: Declare Parlade persona non grata instead
( - October 27, 2020 - 4:25pm

MANILA, Philippines — Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla should declare Lt. Gen Antonio Parlade Jr., the spokesperson of the government's anti-insurgency task force, persona non grata in the province of Cavite, a fisherfolk group said Tuesday.

This comes after a brief clash between the two, where Remulla lambasted Parlade, commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command, on his personal Facebook account early Monday morning, saying the general  "should be ashamed of himself" for a red-tagging spree that has involved celebrities Liza Soberano and Catriona Gray.

READ: 'Ok ka lang, Parlade?': Red-tagging propaganda banned in Cavite

Remulla said he would personally lead in taking down red-tagging propaganda material in the province if the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict would put any up.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno earlier told the local anti-communist task force to take down similar banners put up in the city saying people should focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

This prompted Parlade to post on Facebook that the mayor seemed to be "welcoming" communist terrorists. 

"Is Mayor Isko welcoming this terrorist? Let’s clarify from Yorme the basis for his action. Is it fear of retribution? It’s about time we hear it from Yorme Isko. Will he now declare the NTF-ELCAC persona non grata in Manila instead?" Parlade said.

Parlade: Makabayan bloc party-lists under surveillance

Earlier, Parlade admitted that Bayan Muna chairperson Neri Colmenares and lawmakers under the Makabayan Bloc—which he referred to as the Kamatayan (Death) Bloc—were under "intelligence surveillance" by the national task force. 

He proceeded to red-tag them in the same interview, calling them "card-bearing members of the Communist Party of the Philippines," though he has not provided evidence for any of his accusations. 

In a statement, the Cavite chapter of fisherfolk federation Pamalakaya lauded Remulla for "standing up against red-tagging that endangers lives of activists".

READ: Makabayan bloc party-lists under surveillance, Parlade says

“Cavite Governor Remulla should be commended for his audacity to confront a military general who is on a red-baiting galore of activists and progressive celebrities. We likewise urge him to declare Parlade as a 'persona non grata' across the province to prevent him from his usual vilification and red-tagging campaign of democratic activists based in Cavite,” Myrna Candinato, Pamalakaya-Cavite spokesperson, said.

Pamalakaya, which represents fisherfolk and coastal communities, said that their members are “often targets of red-tagging and vilification campaign” of the military due to “active local struggles”. Among those struggles are an opposition to reclamation activities that they say will affect the livelihoods of small fisherfolk.

The fisherfolk federation is among the long list of progressive groups that have been labelled by the NTF-ELCAC as "front groups" of communist rebels.

Even the Commission on Human Rights has issued a warning against the practice of red-tagging, which it said "violates the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence and may have serious implications on the security and movement of individuals and groups involved."

RELATED: Protests, political exercises not classified as terrorism — DOJ

“Parlade is unwelcome here, more so his red-tagging campaign has no place in Cavite. Parlade’s version of red scare is ridiculous, unacceptable, and should be rejected in today’s modern civilization. It undermines the freedom of speech and freedom of association as stated by no less than the Philippine constitution,” Candinato added.

Parlade: Activism is okay, but do not encourage armed struggle

Speaking in an interview aired over One News "The Chiefs" on Tuesday, Parlade said that his reputation was unfairly being besmirched by the issue. 

"Who am I to put up those tarpaulins? [Remulla] was accusing me of that...I did not threaten those celebrities," he said in mixed English and Filipino, insisting he was "defending" them from the supposed risks of being affiliated with Gabriela, which he again asserted was linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

"Continued association with these groups, chances are, will lead you...everything I say, they can twist it. Why would I apologize?...They always think, 'Parlade is a red-tagger'. They want to destroy me," he added. 

In an earlier statement addressed to Soberano, Parlade warned the celebrity that she "would suffer the same fate" as dead activists if she did not "abdicate" from Gabriela after the former spoke at a seminar organized by Gabriela Youth. 

"That is not a threat, it's a warning," Parlade said, likening it to a typhoon warning from government. 

“Why not call me and ask about those things? Why accuse me? So that’s not fair, that he posted it on his Facebook wall and even threatened to remove posters,” he added in a separate interview on ANC.

Parlade's own "warning" to Soberano was also posted on his Facebook account, and most of his accusations of links to communist rebels have been widely publicized. 

For their part, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Cavite also said it is willing to work with the Cavite governor on “countering” the propaganda strategy of the NTF-ELCAC in the province.

“We warn Mr. Parlade not to put any of his propaganda posters here because we will take those down at any cost. Governor Remulla should ensure that 'tibaks' are safe here in Etivac,” Manny Asuncion, BAYAN-Cavite spokesperson said. — Franco Luna 

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