AFP official challenges progressive group to TV debate

By Francis Wakefield 

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Major General Antonio Parlade Jr. said that, contrary to claims by the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan or (Makabayan), they are treating activists and captured New People's Army (NPA) well.

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN) Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade

Parlade made the remark even as he challenged Makabayan to see who among the military and the progressive group was propagandizing, and who was telling the truth through a television debate

"Makabayan take the challenge. See who are propagandizing. Let’s see who is on the side of truth? Choose your TV station. That's how simple it is," Parlade said.

"'Yan nga hamon, matagal na . I challenged Karapatan tumahimik . I challenged Ibon wala din. 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.

Parlade said even Bayan Muna founder and partylist representative Satur Ocampo was surpised  to find out that captured NPA rebels are treated and fed well.

"We have treated you activists too well for too long. We don't attack and maltreat activists and even captured NPAs you as you claim," Parlade said.

"Ka Satur knows that. Once he called me to check the status of our captured NPA rebels in Batangas. He was surprised to know they were fed fried chicken. The rebels even cried when served ice cream for dessert. They were brainwashed to believe the Army will skin them alive when captured. And it didn’t happen. Since then these former rebels have been helping government win over NPAs to surrender," he added.

Parlade said the Secretary General of Karapatan, Cristina Palabay, also knows that captured NPAs are treated humanely.

"So ask those with first hand information on how we treat prisoners humanely. Ask Palabay of Karapatan even because I welcomed her and her group to my camp to see for themselves how the captured NPAs were. Lets see who is propagandizing," Parlade said.

"Bakit kami mapapahiya? For what? For telling the people the truth?," he added.

Parlade said they always talk of a pattern of state-sponsored killings but  the real pattern in the narrative is the continuous attack on government which people should know.

"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 governments and foreign NGOs. You are collecting billions for "Saving your communists Schools (SOS)" now that the government has decided to close them down," Parlade said.

"You have to say the AFP "bombed" your schools to get even more symphaty. You have to invent "Bakwit" to give you excuse to send some Lumad to UP for more exposure and mileage for your lies, then get more funding. You have to tell the world 14 people were "massacred" as if they were killed in one place, when in fact they were killed in different locations, for fighting the police in a legitimate operation. You have to report "27,000 killed in tokhang" (you actually said 30,000 after just a month) when you know only 5,000 were killed in legit police operation vs drugs."

"That's a clear pattern and its not government making that up. You have to establish that pattern, why? Because the EU court  and Joma (Jose Maria Sisom) can no longer invoke non-refoulement  (Art 8 Para 2 UN Gen Assembly Reso 47/133) and he will be sent home and rot in jail, if conditions in the country have improved, as we have," he added.

Parlade underscored that the Philippines was a safe place, and it is only the enemies of the state who are hyping that scary picture which in turn sends investors and tourists away.

"That's what "progressive" people do - send progress and development away. Thats what you been doing by launching this stupid revolution of yours for 50 years. Sino ba dapat mahiya? Si Makabayan? O si gobyernong nagpapakatotoo ," Parlade said.