A military official warning popular actress Liza Soberano and 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray of having alleged links with left-leaning groups has gotten Senator Risa Hontiveros’ blood boiling.
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., the head of the Southern Luzon Command of the Philippine Army and spokesman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), said in a statement on Thursday that Soberano still has the chance to distance herself from the Gabriela Youth that invited her to an event the group organized.
“Liza Soberano, there’ s still a chance to abdicate that group,” Parlade said.
He even warned the actress could suffer the fate of Josephine Anne Lapira alias “Ella,” the former Deputy Secretary General of Gabriela Youth of the University of the Philippines Manila and women’s rights defender, who was killed in an armed encounter.
“She is merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights. She has to be protected in the exercise of her rights. Is she an NPA (New People’s Army)? No, of course not. Not yet,” Parlade said in the statement.
Parlade also warned Gray and Ella Colmenares, sister of actress Angel Locsin.
“The choice is yours Liza. And so with you Catriona,” Parlade added, while appealing to the public to not “red-tag” Soberano, as she was “merely supporting advocacy for women’s rights.”
Hontiveros immediately slammed Parlade.
In a statement posted in her Facebook account on Thursday, the senator told Parlade: “when you sat in front of me during your appointment hearing, you were like a lamb.”
“I gave you the benefit of the doubt during your promotion hearing because I believed that, just like my late husband Frank, you abide by the motto of the PMA (Philippine Military Academy): courage, integrity and loyalty,” she said.
Military officials promoted to star rank must also be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments.
“I started as a young advocate for women’s rights, and married a military man and raised a family of four with him,” the senator said.
Hontiveros warned Parlade’s she will not forget his statements against Soberana, Gray and Colmenares.
We will not forget this. Tatandaan ko ang lahat ng mga ito at paghandaan mo ang susunod nating paghaharap sa Commission on Appointments. Hindi ko ito kayang palampasin (I will remember all of this and I will get ready for your next appearance before the Commission on Appointment. I cannot let this incident pass),” she said.
Hontiveros also said the females Parlade warned should not be cowered.
“This is your constitutional right; don’t be afraid. Patuloy niyo lang panindigan ang karapatan niyong magsalita. Kasama niyo ako at karamihan sa ating mamamayan (Continue to practice your right to speak out. I am by your side and much of our countrymen). I salute and embrace you,” she said.
Left-leaning groups deceiving young people
A good number of netizens, however, still believe that left-leaning groups like Gabriela and its youth counterpart have been responsible for brainwashing many young people, particularly those in college, to join the ranks of the NPA.
In October 14, Sovereignph.com posted the story “Palaweña rebel linked with Gabriela killed in encounter in Occidental Mindoro” about a young woman named Justine Ella Varras, alias Star, who hailed from Palawan.
Like Lapira, Vargas had ties with Gabriela and was a member of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA)-Palawan.
Lt. Col. Alexander Arbolado, commanding officer of the 4th Infantry Battalion, 203rd Infantry Brigade in Occidental Mindoro expressed sadness over the death of Vargas as her parents had laid down their arms and took advantage of the government’s Balik-Loob Program, which returns former rebels to normal lives, with various incentives to expedite their reintegration into society.
The Vargas couple tried to get in touch with the Justine but to no avail, to also get back to the fold of the law.
Read the story “Palaweña rebel linked with Gabriela killed in encounter in Occidental Mindoro” here https://sovereignph.com/2020/10/14/palawena-rebel-linked-with-gabrielakilled-in-encounter-in-occ-mindoro/. (sovereignph.com)