A group of lawyers said on Thursday, Feb. 4, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. Gen. Antonio G. Parlade Jr. has been helping “reinforce and validate criticisms” against the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre U. Olalia said in a statement: “This is a big favor he is giving us which is awfully unwelcome and outrageously unacceptable. Thanks but no thanks.”
The NUPL’s statement was in response to Parlade’s Facebook post on the inquirer.net article written by Tetch Torrez-Tupaz entitled “Tortured Aetas seek SC help against anti-terror law.”
Tupaz’s article stated that two Aetas, who claim to have been tortured by the military and detained over trumped up charges following their arrest in Zambales, sought to be included among the petitioners asking the Supreme Court (SC) to declare ATA as unconstitutional.
A total of 37 petitions has been filed against ATA. All petitions pleaded the SC to declare the law unconstitutional.
Parlade’s comment on the article: “Congratulations for a sloppy work Tetch Torres-Tupaz of Inquirer.net. You did not even bother to check the side of the AFP and gov’t if what you are reporting is true or FAKE. Propagandista. No such thing happened. That unit is not even there but in Davao.”
The military official, who is the spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), also hinted of possible filing of charges when he responded to a Facebook comment and replied: “Aiding the terrorists by spreading lies? PUEDE (possible).”
An association of journalists, the Justice and Courts Reporters Association (JUCRA), has decried Parlade’s posts as “utterly unacceptable” and demanded that the AFP officer apologize to Tupaz.
“The news report by Ms. Tetch Torres-Tupas as well as all others who filed theirs, are based on official sworn submissions to the Supreme Court which in turn were reportedly referenced from all sworn documents and official documents, including those from the military involved and the prosecutor and trial court records,” Olalia pointed out.
“Yet with oversized blinders, he (Parlade) bullies and picks with impunity mostly those not of his own size,” he lamented.