Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday expressed relief after a military official assured that actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin is not part of the New People’s Army.
Lacson, during a hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense on the alleged red-tagging activities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on celebrities, disclosed he is going to be one of the principal sponsors at her wedding with her fiancé Neil Arce.
During the hearing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. clarified that he never mentioned that Locsin is a member of the progressive group.
“I mentioned Ella Colmenares because it’s really true that Ella is an NPA. I never said that Angel Locsin is an NPA,” Parlade told senators during the hearing.
“Her statement was that she said she is not an NPA. I never said that she is an NPA. No, I never said that,” the military official added.
Lacson said he is glad to hear it from Parlade: “I’m glad you mentioned in your own words that Angel Locsin is not an NPA. I’ll make a disclosure. Her fiancé, Neil Arce, is a family friend. As a matter of fact, when they decide to get married, they’re getting me as a principal sponsor.”
“I’m just making a disclosure. I’m glad that you mentioned that she is not an NPA,” Lacson stressed.
“I hope she’s monitoring so she would know that it came from you that she is not an NPA. And I think she will feel relieved,” the lawmaker added.
But Parlade insisted that actress Angel Locsin is fully aware of the fact her sister Ella Colmenares is a member of the NPA.
“I know that she (Angel) knows that her sister is an NPA,” Parlade told Lacson.
An ex-NPA cadre, who testified during the hearing, told the Senate panel that Locsin’s sister is indeed a member of the NPA.
“General Parlade is not lying. Ella Colmenares, the sister of Angel Locsin, was an NPA in Quezon. I met her,” Jeffrey Celis, aka “Ka Eric” said during the hearing.
Earlier, Colmenares denied Parlade’s claims and said she is merely supportive of women’s rights and not the armed struggle.
During the hearing, Parlade also cleared Liza Soberano of being a member of a leftist group. Parlade said he only meant to “cite examples” to the celebrities “to make them realize that the threat is real.”
“That’s why I cited the September incident (on Josephine Lapira) and I have to cite those just to give them an idea of these activists against the terrorists,” Parlade said.
But Lacson warned Parlade that his statements, which he posted on his Facebook account, “is open to misinterpretation.”
“What you said (regarding them) …is open to misinterpretation, and for lack of better word—exploitation,” Lacson said.