MANILA – A ranking military official lashed back at militant human rights group Karapatan over its recent statement urging the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to withhold clearances for the former’s retirement over alleged human rights violations, saying the government has enough evidence against them.
“What HR violations are you talking about? I have been promoted several times because I have no human rights case as you alleged,” said Lt. General Antonio G. Parlade, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief, in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency Sunday night.
Unfazed by Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay’s claims, Parlade said the former has a case to face for besmirching his reputation over allegations that he ordered the killing of activists.
“That case is being reviewed at the Solicitor General's office now and shall be filed anytime,” he added. “I am not going anywhere, Cristina Palabay. I am not walking away.”
Parlade, who announced his resignation as spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) early this month, is set to retire from the military service on July 26.
He earlier said despite his resignation as NTF ELCAC spokesperson and pending retirement, he will continue to defend the country against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and its allied organizations.
"Even then, I want to assure our critics and naysayers that I am not running away from this fight. As a citizen of this country it behooves me to continue with my patriotic duty to defend our country and end the 52 years onslaught of the CPP-NPA terrorists, whatever legal way I can,” he was quoted in an earlier report.
He maintained that he did not “red-tag” activists because they themselves, through their actions, identify their true color.
“You alleged that I red-tagged activists without evidence? I don't red-tag people. You and your cohorts' actions identify you as such, i.e. stooges of Joma Sison and the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Parlade said, referring to CPP-NPA founding chair Jose Maria Sison.
Sison, he said, is to be blamed for identifying and "red-tagging" militants and activists allied to their cause.
He went on to enumerate some of Karapatan’s involvement in illegal activities such as the likes of arrested Alexa Pacalda of Quezon and Glendhyl Malabanan of Palawan, both Karapatan members who bear arms to fight together with the NPA.
“Is Glendhyl Malabanan not proof of Karapatan's complicity to the violence of the NPAs in Palawan? Is Alexa Pacalda not proof of Karapatan being part of the NPA?” he added.
He said they were arrested because they ceased to be activists and morphed into terrorists when they joined the NPA, CPP's armed wing.
A captured video, he added, shows Malabanan and Pacalda training with the NPA.
“Is Honey May Suazo and Fred Caña, both of Karapatan, not proof of your bailing out of top CPP-NPAs in Mindanao and the Visayas?” he said.
Parlade was referring to former Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region secretary-general Honey Mae Suazo who bailed out Zaldy Canete alias “Ka Jinggoy”, leader of NPA 1st Pulang Bagani Command, in 2015.
He added that Karapatan-Negros secretary-general Fred Caña also raised money to pay for the cash bond in 2012 of arrested Romeo Nanta, head of NPA Regional Operations Command Negros Island in 2012, and Hernando Llorente alias “Ka Adoy”, NPA Northern Negros Front commander, and wife Faith Roseen Basergo alias “Ka Bea”, an NPA political instructress.
Parlade said the government has more evidence to pin Karapatan down.
“Karapatan Quezon Provincial Coordinator Genelyn Dichoso alias Gemma is now with the government. Don't you think we have enough to pin you down and put you in jail? Let's see,” he said.
Dichoso alias Gemma, 52, is former secretary-general of Karapatan-Quezon, who surrendered to the Philippine Army 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, Rizal on April 5, 2021, and claimed to have been tired of a life full of problems and making things happen for her so-called comrades.
“Meantime, make sure you have all your lawyers from National Union of Peoples Lawyers to defend you in court,” he added.
He said he doesn’t mind Karapatan using the media for anything it wants to say including propaganda because the Philippines is a free country.
“But for besmirching my name without showing proof, I will make sure citizen Parlade will put you in jail,” he said. (PNA)