Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. warned Liza Soberano and Catriona Gray earlier on a statement on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s Facebook page saying that they “will suffer the same fate as Josephine Anne Lapira”, the former Deputy Secretary-General of women’s group Gabriela.
As to which Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. explained in a Malacañang press briefing held on Thursday that “Pinag-iingatan lang sila na baka magamit sila ng Left.”
Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros were quick to defend the celebrities. Here are their respective statements:
“Nakipagkwentuhan lang si Liza [Soberano], binantaan na ng kamatayan. Siya na nga ang binastos at binantaan ng rape, tatakutin pa?” – Senator Francis Pangilinan
“Ang Armed Forces of the Philippines ang magtatanggol sa taumbayan, hindi maniniil. Protector, not oppressor.” – Senator Francis Pangilinan
“Advocates and progressives must not be mistaken for communists and terrorists. They speak to express and to empower. Paano naman naging komunista si Liza Soberano, eh nagtatanong lang siya tungkol sa mga abuso na nararanasan ng ating mga kabataan at kababaihan?
Hindi krimen ang magpahayag ng opinyon kung paano mapabu[bu]ti ang Pilipinas.” – Senator Francis Pangilinan
“Lt. General Parlade, when you sat in front of me during your appointment hearing, you were like a lamb.
I gave you the benefit of the doubt during your promotion hearing because I believed that, just like my late husband Frank, you abide by the motto of the PMA: courage, integrity, and loyalty.
Huwag mong gamitin ang kapangyarihan mo bilang heneral upang takutin at pagbantaan ang mga kababaihang ito. Your threats and harassment are unacceptable. By silencing them, pinapalampas mo ang karahasan, panggagahasa at pangaabuso na nararansan ng napakaraming Pilipino. This is ungentlemanly and a shame to your rank and to the PMA.
I started as a young advocate for women’s rights, and married a military man, and raised a family of 4 with him.
We betray the integrity of our military, and especially our women and children, by allowing abuses of power like this to happen.
We will not forget this. Tatandaan ko ang lahat ng mga ito at paghandaan mo ang susunod nating paghaharap sa Commission on Appointments. Hindi ko ito kayang palampasin.
See you in the next round.
To Liza and Catriona: It is difficult and painful to be at the frontlines fighting beside persons oppressed by a norm that advocates rape, murder, and exploitation. But every time you speak up, another girl becomes braver and another life is saved. I’m behind you every step of the way.
This is your constitutional right; don’t be afraid. Patuloy niyo lang panindigan ang karapatan niyong magsalita. Kasama niyo ako at karamihan sa ating mamamayan. I salute and embrace you. ” – Senator Risa Hontiveros
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