Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. clarified anew that he was not red-tagging actress Liza Soberano but was giving her a “warning” as if she was his younger sister.
“Hindi ako nag red-tag, hindi ko sila ni red tag itong sila Liza Soberano. In fact , ako’y nagwa-warning lang and it’s not even a threat, walang threat doon. Parang advice lang ito ng isang kapatid sa nakakabatang kapatid na babae na iwasan itong grupo na ito kase baka hindi nyo kilala itong grupong ito (Definitely I was not red-tagging Liza Soberano, in fact, I was giving her a warning, not a threat. It’s like brotherly advice to a younger sister to avoid this group because she might not truly know who this group is),” Parlade said in an interview with international blogger Maharlika on October 24, 2020..
Parlade said different media entities twisted and misquoted him in his statements regarding Soberano.
He said netizens who did not read his entire statement accused him of red-tagging the actress.
He added that the issue was further used by different Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) legal front organizations to advance their advocacy and sow hatred against the military and the government.
He said he does not want young women like Soberano to be used by these leftist groups.
Parlade named three women whom he said were members of the Gabriela Youth — Jo Lapira, Ren Manalo, and Camille Manangan.
He said Lapira, Manalo, and Manangan were recently killed in encounters between the military and the members of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“They are officials of the Gabriela Youth. Jo Lapira was the secretary-general from UP Manila. I need to mention their names because they clashed with the police and the military. One died in Palawan, one in Mindoro, and one in Nasugbu, Jo Lapira, together with 16 other members of the NPA. All of them were armed,” Parlade said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He said the three women all started as Gabriela members and officials but ended up joining the armed movement.
Parlade said young women who are recruited by these groups may not be able to identify that they are crossing the line from being plain activists to becoming terrorists.
“I was explaining that if one does not take necessary precautions, they might not notice that they are already crossing towards underground organizations and eventually join the New People’s Army, the armed revolution. They are young, beautiful, and intelligent and might be used to attract other young people,” Parlade said.
Parlade said the advocacies of Soberano are legitimate and that he understands her because he also has daughters and younger sisters.
However, he said influential artists like her should be educated and given correct information.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Marita Moaje, PNA)