EDITORIAL - Parlade should realize the difference between activists and communists
EDITORIAL - Parlade should realize the difference between activists and communists
(The Freeman) - October 24, 2020 - 12:00am

The message of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., head of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to actress Liza Soberano is generating a lot controversy.

Parlade issued the message after Soberano participated in a webinar organized by the activist women’s group Gabriela.

“Liza Soberano, there’s still a chance to abdicate that group. If you don’t, you will suffer the same fate as Josephine Anne Lapira,” said Parlade, who is also spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts.

Lapira was a college student who was killed in an encounter between government troops and New People’s Army rebels in Batangas in November 2017.

Not only did his statement seem like a veiled threat to the actress, Parlade also goes on to imply that activists and communists are the same, by saying that if Soberano sticks to the path she is on, she will eventually join the New People’s Army.

“She is merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights. She has to be protected in the exercise of her rights. Is she an NPA? No, of course not. Not yet… Let’s help educate her and the other celebrity targets of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan, the underground mass organization hiding under Gabriela Women’s Party,” Parlade continued.

It’s sad that some people cannot the difference between activists and communists.

Activists are those who want to make changes to improve living conditions. They don’t necessarily advocate for a regime change, they just want some revisions to be made to the laws here and there to benefit the disadvantaged.

At times they may resort to desperate measures to call attention to their cause, but they take every precaution to stay within the boundary of the law because they still believe in it.

Communists may be similar to activists because they also want change, but the similarity ends there. They want a total administrative change, exchanging democracy for communism entirely, because the feel the democratic system has failed.

Simply put, activists want to make some changes within the present regime. Communists want to overthrow it entirely to replace it with something new.

There are many more differences between the two that can be best explained by political science teachers, but those are the basic ones.

We understand why some military personnel would rather lump the two. It makes their job easier. For them it also justifies their actions when they go after activists, because for them these people are as good as communists.

This is what makes it so dangerous, because the treatment of activists and communists should be very different.

Before things get out of hand, someone should explain to Parlade the difference between activists and communists.

LIZA SOBERANO
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