Issue of May 12, 2019
Mt. Province

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AFP says it can protect NUPL
by PNA release

An official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said the Armed Forces of the Philippines is in the best position to secure the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL), not from AFP attacks, but from its comrades.

AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Major Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. said he respects the decision of the Supreme Court to hear NUPL’s plea for the issuance of a writ of amparo and habeas data for the latter’s protection.

“It is always the duty of the highest court to ‘hear’ its constituents,” Parlade said in a statement.

“The SC (Supreme Court) also knows that we, in the AFP, are in the best position to secure you, not from AFP attacks because we don’t do that, but from your comrades who have the habit of attacking your own kind then blame the government.”

In a petition, the NUPL and other petitioners claimed that “their rights to life, liberty, and security have been violated and continue to be violated through the persistent threats and harassment and red tagging allegedly done to vilify and intimidate them and prevent them from pursuing their profession as members of the Bar and from practicing their advocacy as peoples’ lawyers serving the poor and the marginalized.”

They claimed that some NUPL members have died in the line of duty.

“Did you watch the late Father Balweg’s video where he described how they would attack communities near your ambush area, while clad in military uniform, so people will be enraged and will hate the AFP?” Parlade said in his statement addressed to NUPL.

He also reminded NUPL how its comrades bombed Plaza Miranda on Aug. 21, 1971 and blamed the government.

“What about the attack of your fellow rallyists at Hacienda Luisita? Maybe we should remind you of all the killings you did in order to blame the government,” he said, referring to the massive rally outside the hacienda owned by the family of former president Corazon C. Aquino on Nov. 16, 2004.

Parlade said he and six other respondents will comment on the NUPL petition before the May 8 deadline set by SC.

“But does it change the fact you (NUPL) are members of the Lupon ng Manananggol ng Bayan – the underground movement of the Communist Party of the Philippines hiding under the cloak of the legal front NUPL? No. And look how safe you are as you exploit the protection of our democracy, even as you advance your revolution to establish your proletarian dictatorship,” he added.

The NUPL, he said, has perfected the craft of deception in 50 years.

“Classic revolutionary dual tactics indeed; use the law when it is convenient for you. Hide under and circumvent it to prosecute your violent and illegal agenda,” he added.

Other respondents in the NUPL petition are President Rodrigo Duterte, who was impleaded in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the AFP; National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr.; Defense Sec. Delfin N. Lorenzana; AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr.; AFP Deputy Commander for Intelligence B/Gen. Fernando T. Trinidad; AFP Intelligence Service of the Philippines  Chief M/Gen. Erwin Bernard Neri; and Philippine Army Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto.

NTF-ELCAC was created pursuant to President Duterte’s Executive Order 70 signed on Dec. 4, 2018, institutionalizing a “whole of nation” approach in its fight against communist insurgents and deal with the “root cause” of communism in the country by harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development interventions.

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