Akbayan to Parlade: Thanks but no thanks!

Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales on the remarks of Lt. Gen. Parlade Akbayan Partylist today called out Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade’s description of the political party as a “good left group,” calling it a “crude attempt at false flattery to sow political intrigue and justify the red-tagging of civilians.

Akbayan issued the statement a day after Parlade was interviewed by a radio station wherein he said Akbayan is a good left group unlike other leftist groups he perceived as dangerous and violent.

The group said that Parlade’s remark is a “copy-cat” of the statement issued by ex-AFP Chief and now National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in 2007 on Akbayan to evade accountability over the extrajudicial killings of political activists under then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Thanks, but no thanks. General Parlade’s false praise of my political party will not justify his foolish red-tagging of civilians and government critics. Not at our expense. We don’t need his fake and dangerous compliment,” Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales said.

Rosales, who is also a former Akbayan Partylist lawmaker, said that while her political party has consistently spoken against the extortion activities and killings of non-state actors like the New People’s Army (NPA), it has likewise condemned the abuses of military personnel against other left groups.

“We will not allow our consistent stand against the atrocities and abuses of non-state actors to be exploited by irresponsible military leaders to threaten and red-tag civilians, much more muzzle the voice of legitimate dissent. Abuse is abuse, whether it is from the NPA or the military. Akbayan will not tolerate either,” Rosales said.

Rosales also advised Parlade to correct his analysis of the Philippine left political spectrum after he accused Akbayan of being a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

She said that Parlade’s ignorance of Philippine left politics is an embarrassment to the military institution and its multi-billion intelligence fund.

“Despite the military’s multi-billion intel fund, the General’s lack of knowledge about the Philippine left is laughable and disturbing. Akbayan is democratic socialist. It was never communist. We are already in the digital age, General Parlade. A simple internet search of Akbayan will provide you the right information. Google-google din minsan, General,” Rosales said.