Gate-crashing general booed out of human rights forum

During the open forum, Parlade raised his hand to speak and walked to the front but Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Dr. Carol Araullo did not allow him.

By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
Kodao Productions

A gate-crashing general was booed and shooed away from a forum organized and attended by the very victims of the government’s red-baiting tactics that he spearheads.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. was escorted out of the Quezon City Sports Club room where members of the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) were attending the forum entitled “Weaponizing the Law, Criminalizing Dissent.”

The forum, co-organized by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, was aimed at highlighting “the abuses committed against critics of the [Duterte] administration.”

During the open forum, Parlade raised his hand to speak and walked to the front but Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Dr. Carol Araullo did not allow him.

“This is a forum organized by MAT…Gen. Parlade has every platform that he can get, including mass media to spill his twisted lies. He is not welcome here…If he can be so kind and act like a gentleman and step out of this hall,” Araullo said.

As applause greeted Araullo’s statement, an organizer motioned for Parlade to step out of the room.

The general still tried to speak but was roundly heckled.

Eventually, Araullo and several others, including a visibly incensed elderly nun, escorted Parlade out.

Out in the hallway, Parlade tried to argue but was flatly told he was not welcome.

Parlade has led the red-baiting of activists nationwide and abroad in so-called peace caravans.

Activists said Parlade’s repeated accusations endanger their lives and violate their human rights.

Edre Olalia, NUPL president and transitional president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, described Parlade’s presence to their forum as “akin to a serial rapist or serial murderer who barges cockily into a meeting of victims and their kin.” “It is premeditated taunting and evident provocation,” Olalia said.

In a statement, Bayan said the organizers did not want Parlade to use the forum as his platform.

“He has no place among human rights defenders he has constantly attacked and endangered,” the group said. Reposted by (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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