Militant fishers’ group Pamalakaya demanded Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. to resign from his post after threatening to file charges against a female reporter over her article, saying that military official’s position is nothing but a waste of public funds.
In a statement issued Friday, Feb. 5, Pamalakaya lambasted Parlade over his recent critical remarks against reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas who wrote a story of two Aetas who were charged for violating the controversial Anti-Terror Law.
“We demand Mr. Parlade [to] tender his resignation anytime starting today, as he has no political and moral grounds to hold such [a] position,” said Pedro Gonzales, Pamalakaya vice chairman emeritus, in a statement.
“The raging clamor against his malicious yet dangerous red-tagging spree deserves his military career, nothing less,” he added.
Parlade is currently the chief of the military’s Southern Luzon Command, and the spokesman for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The militant group said the military official “doesn’t have any better thing to do in his office other than obsessing himself with his ridiculous red-tagging of activists, personalities, and entities opposed to his ideas.”
“He should immediately quit his post, both from being a military commander and a spokesperson of the government-backed anti-communist task force. His position is nothing but a waste of public funds and state machineries,” Pamalakaya said in its statement.
In a Facebook post, Parlade called Tupas as “propagandist” over her news article entitled “Tortured Aetas seek SC help against anti-terror law.” He also hinted of the possible filing of charges against the reporter for “aiding the terrorists by spreading lies.”
According to Gonzales, Parlade has “unleashed” an anti-insurgency campaign coupled with “impermissible human rights violations and attacks on democratic rights.”
The spokesman of the government’s anti-communist task force has earlier red-tagged 18 colleges and universities, which he claimed were recruitment grounds for communist groups.
The fishers’ group renewed its call to defund the NTF-ELCAC and re-channel its budget to health services and subsidy to pandemic-stricken poor Filipinos.