General Antonio Parlade and his low cunning

Because what Parlade is doing is taking a page from Palparan’s, and Marcos’, and ultimately, the CIA’s playbook. He thinks that barbarity will result in fear, and thus compliance. He thinks that the way to curb legitimate dissent is by becoming an aswang; a murderer in the night, and desecrator of the flesh.

By JUSTIN UMALI
Bulatlat.com

In Filipino folk mythology, the aswang is a creature that crosses ethnolinguistic lines. Seminal works by F. Landa Jocano, E. Arsenio Manuel, and Damiana Eugenio have sought to classify the different beliefs that constitute an “aswang” – generally, they are shape-shifting creatures of the night who steal fresh corpses, or children in the womb, or kill wanderers caught unaware.

During the years of the Huk rebellion, 1950-54, the United States Central Intelligence Agency collaborated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in using the aswang myth against the peasants. Edward Landsdale, who was assigned in the Philippines at the time, talked about how they mangle dead Huks and leave them in the countryside, preying on the Huks’ superstitions and feudal origins.

Maj. General Antonio Parlade, Jr. was appointed chief of the AFP’s Southern Luzon command on January 17. Two days later, Emerito Pinza and Romy Candor, peasant activists, were murdered in Kalayaan, Laguna, by the PNP under the guise of an encounter with supposed members of the New People’s Army.

Last January 25, Jay-ar Mercado was taken by the 4th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro. He had just changed his profile picture on his Facebook account that day.

In both cases, their bodies were riddled with bullets and left to rot. Jay-ar was drowned before he was buried in an unmarked grave. Emerito and Romy were left to decay before they were buried under false names.

Antonio Parlade, as Duterte’s newest lapdog in his misguided war against the Filipino people, has proven that no tactic is beneath him, no matter how disrespectful. He has steadily honed his craft with the end goal of advancing state terrorism all over the country.

As a key personality within the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Parlade is instrumental in engineering a smear campaign against activists and critics, tagging them all as “communist infiltrators”. NTF-ELCAC has strong-armed local governments, schools, and government institutions to become reactionaries against any legal form of dissent, always at the cost of social services.

There is no trick beneath Parlade. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad Photoshop job of “surrenderees”, or an unwelcome appearance to a forum on “weaponizing the law”; he is, as Karapatan Southern Tagalog put it, “a disingenuous troll”.

But as SOLCOM chief, the troll takes on a more sinister veil. KMP National Chairperson Danilo Ramos said it best: he has no respect for neither the living nor the dead. Not content with murder, Parlade has decided that mutilation and desecration of the dead are valid tactics as well.

Because what Parlade is doing is taking a page from Palparan’s, and Marcos’, and ultimately, the CIA’s playbook. He thinks that barbarity will result in fear, and thus compliance. He thinks that the way to curb legitimate dissent is by becoming an aswang; a murderer in the night, and desecrator of the flesh.

Parlade in his role as aswang has managed to cultivate a culture of impunity and fear perpetrated by the police and military. Now, legal avenues for change and struggle are being closed, and instead of solving any conflict, Parlade and the machineries he controls only succeed in intensifying the roots of armed struggle.

At the end of the day, Parlade is playing a losing game. He has conveniently forgotten that the Filipino people are not meek and superstitious. The Filipino people today do not cower in the face of aswang, real or imagined. They stand, and they fight back.

And just like an aswang, the light of justice will shine on Parlade and his butchery. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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