Claims that militants are representing the majority of Filipinos in their noisy rallies and protest actions against the government are not true, a military official said.
“The gall of (Bayan Muna party-list Representative) Ferdinand Gaite. He speaks of the ‘voice of the people’ – these protesters, the noisy and belligerent minority – as if they represent the Filipino people,” said Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., in a statement to the Philippine News Agency on November 24, 2020.
He scored the militant lawmaker for mistaking the more or less 100 protesters, the majority of which are students, who cannot even represent the millions of students in Philippine society.
“Wake up Rep. Gaite and listen to what the majority of the people are saying. Yong sandaan mo ay hindi kailanman puedeng maging representante ng nakakarami nating mga estudyante (Your 100 protesters, composed mostly of students, cannot represent the majority of our students),” he said.
Parlade, who is also spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), chided Gaite and other militants for always using the “dictator” term in their bid to topple the country’s democratic form of government and replace it with a communist one.
“Now you talk of the well-functioning democratic government citing the 1987 Constitution? Well functioning pala bakit gusto ninyong sirain? (it is functioning so why would you want to destroy it) Ilantad ninyo kung ano ang nasa inyong CPP Constitution Plans and Programs (Just reveal what’s inside your CPP Constitution Plans and Programs),” he added.
He also challenged Gaite to tell the public what is the real meaning of “Prinsipyo ng Proletaryong Diktadurya sa anyo ng Demokratikong Diktaduryang Bayan” being espoused by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Article 3 Section 7 page 24 of their “Bible”.
“Ipaliwanag mo yan sa taong bayan bago mo husgahan ang gobyerno na isang diktadura (Explain that first to the public before you accuse this government of being a dictatorship),” he said.
Parlade also scored Gaite for having the temerity to accuse the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the NTF ELCAC of being peddlers of lies and disinformation but not having the guts to attend a Senate inquiry task to look into their allegations.
“We took our oath to tell the truth to the Senate Committee. But where were you Mr. Gaite? We didn’t see a whisper of your shadow. Why are you so afraid of us? Indeed our 1987 Constitution provides you that democratic space which your CPP Constitution and proletarian dictatorship will never allow,” he said.
He slammed Gaite for setting up conditions that they will only attend the hearing if only he will not be present.
“But again, where were you? Why set conditions that you will only attend if Lt. Gen. Parlade will not attend?” the NTF ELCAC official asked.
Parlade also asked why Gaite and his cohorts are afraid to take an oath that they will not lie and will make him admit his direct participation in the armed conflict being waged by the CPP NPA as members of the CPP yourselves?
“People are asking why you didn’t attend. Even Angel Locsin asked me that question which of course I cannot answer. Maybe next hearing you will attend to provide us answers,” he added.
The government, he said, welcomes activism and will protect legitimate activists but clarified that the newly-enacted Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 has drawn the battle lines, adding that members of the CPP-NPA underground movement, hiding under the legal mantle of these CPP “fronts” belonging to the Makabayan bloc, will be exposed by their own comrades.
“They can no longer be called legitimate dissenters as their agenda is clear: it is not dissent, it is sedition. It is to topple a democratically elected President, with the help of an opposition who has no explanation and legal solution to contest a highly trusted, wildly popular President,” Parlade said.
The worn-out narratives of “a tyrant of a president” being raised by militant groups are now no longer being believed by the public except Gaite and his hundred followers, he added.
“Shall we, the NTF ELCAC accede? Shall we bend back in acquiescence? No, we have drawn the line. You decide where to sit,” he said.
He added that the Day of Judgement for Gaite and his kind is nearing and that the Filipino people, who have suffered enough from the malignant hands of the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF) of which you are part, will be among their judges.
“And soon, very soon, blood debts will be settled,” he said. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)