Did an NTF-ELCAC exec just ‘red-tag’ Liza Soberano?

Published October 21, 2020, 7:02 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

An official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Wednesday urged supporters of the government to refrain from “red tagging” actress Liza Soberano after she participated in a youth forum of Gabriela Women’s Party, but appeared to have done it himself anyway.

Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. (PNA FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., NTF-ELCAC spokesperson and commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (SolCom), released a statement clearing Soberano — whose real name is Hope Elizabeth Soberano — from any communist influence.

“Let us not red-tag Liza Soberano. It’s not fair to her. She is merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights. She has to be protected in the exercise of her rights,” said Parlade on the first part of his statement, which was posted on the Facebook page of the NTF-ELCAC.

However, the succeeding paragraphs in his statement read: “Is she an NPA [New People’s Army]? No, of course not. Not yet.”

The official then warned that Gabriela’s youth arm, the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA), is allegedly targeting celebrities to be recruited in their group.

Last week, Soberano spoke in a forum organized by the Gabriela Youth which tackled various issues being faced by girls and young women amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Liza Soberano, there’s still a chance to abdicate that group. If you don’t, you will suffer the same fate as Josephine Anne Lapira alias Ella,” Parlade said, addressing the other half of the “LizQuen” loveteam.

Parlade said Lapira was a former deputy secretary general of Gabriela Youth of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and defender of women’s rights who allegedly joined the NPA later on.

Lapira was among the 14 suspected communist rebels killed in an armed encounter in Nasugbu, Batangas in November, 2017.

“It’s a pity she learned about nonsense things like nabbing a firearm and exploitation while already inside the underground. It was too late, she is dead,” Parlade said.

Parlade then reiterated a warning not to engage with activist groups, and mentioned several other celebrities who are vocal against the government such as beauty queen Catriona Gray and actress Angel Locsin.

“The choice is yours, Liza. And so with you Catriona. Don’t follow the path Ka Ella Colmenares (Locsin) took in the underground and NPA-Quezon. I am sure Angel Locsin and Neri Colmenares will not tell you this,” he said.

Ella was reportedly one of the nominees of the Kabataan Partylist, a left-leaning youth group, during the 2007 elections.

The camp of Soberano has yet to issue a statement regarding Parlade’s remarks.

But Gabriela has since expressed support to Soberano amid a spate of attacks against her since her appearance in the youth forum.