No apology coming from red-tagging general

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    A CONTROVERSIAL military general yesterday stood pat on his allegation against a journalist he has tagged as a propagandist and supporter of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army.

    Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, chief of the AFP Southern Luzon Command and spokesman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, said he is not apologizing to

    Inquirer.net reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas because he has evidence to back up his allegation.
    “No. Why? Because I have basis,” Parlade said when asked during an interview with ANC if he would apologize.

    Parlade made the accusation last week on his Facebook post against Torres-Tupas who wrote an article about two Aetas who have been charged for violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Other media outlets also wrote the story which was based on a petition filed before the Supreme Court.

    The Aetas claimed they were tortured by the military into admitting they are members of the communist New People’s Army. They asked to Supreme Court to be allowed to intervene in petitions to declare the anti-terror law as unconstitutional because they are the first to claim injury from the questioned law. The petition of the Aetas were dismissed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

    Parlade said Torres-Tupas wrote a story about the Aetas in November last year, even after authorities found out the torture allegations were false.

    The November story was written by Torres-Tupas based on a manifestation, filed before the Supreme Court, by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, which first revealed the Aetas were the first to be charged under the anti-terror law. In the manifestation, the NUPL said the two were tortured by military, fed with human feces and later charged for violation of the ant-terror law.

    “Tetch Tupas made that statement (story) in November even after the conduct of the investigation by the human rights, by the government forces and they were able to prove that these allegations were false,” said Parlade.

    “Now if you are going to repeat that allegation so many months after, what do you call that? You continue to peddle all these false accusations against the government,” said Parlade.

    He added: “I’m in the active (military) service so I really felt enraged when I saw that. I cannot believe our solders are doing that, you know feeding these Aetas with feces. I cannot accept that, so I said no (apology). She has an agenda.”

    Parlade clarified the apology he earlier issued to Tupas was on the matter of the latter feeling threatened by his accusation. “It was not my intention (to threaten her),” he said.
    Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Parlade was correct in questioning the veracity of the petition filed by the Aetas.

    “It turned out that the Aetas were also coerced by the NUPL to sign the wrong affidavit so that’s it, so he was right all along,” Lorenzana said of Parlade.