By Priam Nepomuceno (PNA)
MANILA – Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) chief Major General Antonio Parlade Jr. on Thursday said he finds nothing malicious in the government doing everything in its authority to expose Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) front organizations that are busy agitating children and minors with the help of propaganda manuals crafted by IBON Foundation.
Parlade was reacting to IBON Foundation’s claims that he and two other ranking government officials maliciously abused their authority and are negligent in their duties by allegedly red-tagging the research group.
“Did IBON say that we ‘maliciously abused our authority and we are negligent in the performance of our duties?’,” said Parlade, who is also a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, said in a statement forwarded to the Philippine News Agency.
“No, you should be glad that finally, the government is doing its job of exposing these CPP front organizations who have been agitating our children with IBON manuals full of propaganda against every sitting government since Marcos,” he added.
He also disputed the group’s claims that they are nationalistic and promoting patriotism on the grounds that they are allegedly promoting Italian priest Father Fausto Tentorio alias “Father Pops” as a national hero and responsible for converting more than 700 indigenous people’s children in Cotabato into the ranks of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
“If the government was negligent before, now it’s not. In Butuan City, 31 children involved in armed conflict (CIAC), aged 12 and above have been victimized by the CPP, through its front organizations like IBON. According to captured documents from Vicente Ladlad, a CPP Central Committee member, there are 8,635 more child recruits in Anakbayan who have been radicalized through Ibon’s teachings. Then you accuse us of being ‘unprofessional, unjust and insincere, politically biased’?” he asked.
IBON Foundation filed charges on Feb. 10 against Parlade, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon for alleged red-tagging.
In its complaint filed before the Ombudsman, the group also sought that the three be punished for conduct grossly disregardful of the public interest, unprofessional, unjust and insincere, politically biased, unresponsive to the public, distorting nationalism and patriotism, and undemocratic. (PNA)