AFP, Parlade mastering the art of spinning lies and sowing intrigues - Karapatan-SMR

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines through its deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations Antonio Parlade Jr. is getting more and more desperate in its vilification campaign. From terrorizing legal human rights  organizations such as Karapatan and concocting lies to discredit the legitimate work of these organizations, the AFP is busy in spreading intrigues and in displaying its fascist and mercenary tradition.” said Jay Apiag, secretary-general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region in response to Parlade’s recent accusation against the rights group.
On a news story in The Daily Tribune dated April 12, Parlade yet again accused Karapatan and Honey May Suazo, former secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, as CPP-NPA fronts, alleging to have funded the cash bail for arrested NPA combatant, Zaldy Cañete, in 2015. “Parlade ‘revealed’ a copy of the receipt issued by the Regional Trial Court in Tagum City, as if in so doing, he has unearthed super top secret proof,” Apiag commented. 

“A single receipt of cash bond, one that is a document readily available to the public, in the process of posting bail facilitated by Karapatan for an arrested NPA combatant does not equate to being a CPP-NPA front. If Parlade took a moment and made an effort to read, he would realize that this straightforward gesture is part of the mandate of any human rights advocacy institution under the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). In order to facilitate the dispensation of justice, our assistance is not limited to hors de combat or direct victims of rights abuses but to their kin as well, regardless of their political affiliation,” Apiag explained.

Apiag further said that this assistance also extends to officers and members of the AFP and the PNP who have become prisoners of war by the NPA. “Families of NPA POWs have sought the help of Karapatan many times in the past. Most of the time, our personnel are present, along with organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and peace advocates, during releases of prisoners of war because it is also part of our work.”

“In Mr. Cañete’s case, his kin requested our assistance in posting the cash bond they painstakingly raised because their legal papers were insufficient. To our knowledge, the money used for Mr. Cañete’s bail came from donations from his relatives and friends. It did not come from Karapatan’s meager funds, or from the European Union, Belgium or any other foreign government, as the AFP falsely imputes,” Apiag emphasized. 

Apiag assailed Gen. Parlade and the AFP’s hackneyed attacks against Karapatan and other progressive organizations actively working for the people’s welfare but was unsurprised, saying, “If anything, foreign governments should take a second look at the funds they give to the AFP and PNP to make these institutions ‘human rights compliant.’ On the contrary, these funds have been used to violate people’s rights. Both institutions are prolific in spinning lies and sowing intrigues. Alas, no one believes their tall tales and distortion of facts such as the convoluted Red October story which has become one of the most laughable military conspiracy flop,” he said. 

“The AFP and Gen. Parlade’s effort to discredit and criminalize our noble work will never stop us from defending the poor and marginalized. If anything, their lies only prove that human rights advocacy has become essential more than ever in these dark times of tyranny and dictatorship under the Duterte regime,” he concluded.###
 

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