MANILA -- Foreign non-government organizations (NGOs) will no longer believe in the fake advocacy being promoted by Karapatan once military proves to the world that the group is a front organization of the communist movement, an army official said Sunday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., made this comment after opposition lawmakers in the Makabayan bloc urged him to stop red-tagging the group for lack of proof on these allegations.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate earlier claimed Parlade was “doing a disservice to Filipinos” by believing that “progressive people’s organizations” such as Karapatan launched a fake human rights advocacy to collect donations from European countries.
Parlade shot back at the Makabayan bloc, insisting the latter was the one which made a disservice to Filipinos by exaggerating figures on people killed during the drug from war from police data which showed only 5,000 deaths to 27,000 deaths only to get more funding from foreign organizations.
“You know you have to paint any sitting government as oppressive, a tyrant, and that there exist in the Philippines a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant, or mass violations of human rights’ so that you can continue to ask for donations from Europe, America, Australia, elsewhere for your fake advocacies, through well-meaning govts and foreign NGOs,” Paralde said.
“Philippines is safe, it’s only you who are hyping that scary picture which in turn sends investors and tourists away. Now that's disservice to your fellowmen. That's what progressive" people do - send progress and development away?” he added.
Parlade shrugged off Zarate’s comment and challenged the Makabayan bloc to a televised public debate to prove that the group is a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“Makabayan, take the challenge. See who are propagandizing. Let’s see who is on the side of truth? Monday, choose your TV station,” Parlade said in a statement.
“Bakit kami mapapahiya (Why would we be put to shame)? For what? For telling the people the truth?” he added.
Parlade said he has long challenged groups like Karapatan to a public debate but they never accepted his dare.
“Yan nga hamon, matagal na. I challenged Karapatan tumahimik. I challenged Ibon wala din (That has long been my challenge. I challenged Karapatan, they were quiet. I challenged Ibon, no response from them),” he said.
“We will show the world proof, as we have shown EU and Belgium. Let’s see who has red-tagged who. It’s not me. Not us,” he added.
‘Red-tagging never a crime’
Meanwhile, a former CPP leader who requested anonymity, said he found nothing wrong with AFP’s efforts to determine which groups were CPP front organizations.
“Persistently exposing the duplicity and profound hypocrisy of these open and above ground CPP-led organizations and alliance network like BAYAN, BAYAN MUNA, KMU, ACT, NUPL, IBON, LFS, GABRIELA, etc., is not an act of red tagging nor a disservice to the Filipino people,” the former CPP leader said.
In fact, he said, it is the obligation of the AFP to expose tactics of the CPP to deceive and manipulate foreign NGOs to the broader public.
“Besides, red tagging is never a crime; it is just a lame excuse and desperate refuge of CPP-NPA-NDF cadres and operators who are utilizing the available democratic space and legal maneuvers for them to continue with their cowardly subversion of legitimate government authority and state instruments,” he said.
The former CPP member tagged the Makabayan bloc as “pathological liars’” who are deeply wounded by Parlade’s head-on approach to expose them.
“They are deeply wounded by the head-on approach of Maj. Gen Antonio Parlade, the reason that these pathological liars styling themselves as communists parrots are now whining like cry babies,” he said.
“They deserve such straightforward head-on counter narratives which is long overdue for the government to have been executed as a matter of its moral obligation to the people,” he added.
Last month, a Philippine delegation, in a series of engagements with officials of Belgium and EU in Brussels last month, presented to them findings that their governments have been funding front organizations masquerading as NGOs and human rights defenders.
Parlade has repeatedly insisted that Karapatan has always a supporter of the CPP and urged them to prove him wrong.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the Unites States and EU. (PNA)
Photo from PCOO/Manila Bulletin