Parlade and NTF-ELCAC must answer for any harm that may befall red-tagging victims

None other than Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., commander of the AFP Southern Luzon Command, and other officials of the NTF-ELCAC, should be blamed for whatever harm that may befall the individuals, organizations and officials successively red-tagged in the past few days.

Like a rabid dog, General Parlade threatened movie and television personalities who expressed their views and stood with activist organizations. Even Manila Mayor Isko Moreno earned Parlade’s ire and was denounced for “welcoming terrorists” after the mayor ordered the taking down of NTF-ELCAC “persona non grata” tarpaulins against the CPP and NPA.

General Parlade only proved that the real targets of the NTF-ELCAC are the activists and critics of the regime.

Parlade displayed acute hysteria in targetting defenders of women and children’s rights, activists, progressive members of parliament as well as government officials. To fascist zealots like him, one is Red if one is not anti-Red. Those who do not march to this tune are autobranded as communists.

The people are not easily intimidated by Parlade’s threat to use the fascist Anti-Terror Law to silence and suppress critics and the opposition. Over the past days, many have stood up and denounced Parlade’s red-tagging. Progressive and democratic forces have firmly defended their rights and freedom of expression especially in the face of the regime’s gross ineptness, corruption and fascism.

The ranks of the aware and courageous people fighting the Duterte fascist regime continue to swell. There is strong clamor for taking away the P19.1 billion fund of the NTF-ELCAC and for disbanding this fascist agency.

Even a few fascists were obliged to distance themselves from Parlade and advised him to “refrain” from speaking in public. However, this is all for show, as the Duterte regime relentlessly subject the national democratic and progressive forces to surveillance, intimidation, arrests and killings.

The Duterte regime and the NTF-ELCAC are set to carry out worse measures, especially after releasing the rules for using its Anti-Terror Law. Plans to designate the CPP and NPA, as well as legal and non-armed democratic and progressive organizations as terrorists must be vigorously opposed. This is the first step towards suppression and illegalization of these organizations and movements that uphold patriotism, democracy, justice, environmentalism and human rights.

Communist tagging by reactionary regimes against their opponents have a long history. Accused communists where the first to be imprisoned and suppressed by Hitler when he established his fascist dictatorship. Over the decades, anti-dictatorship forces in Indonesia, Thailand, Chile and other countries have invariably been branded communists.

Under the Marcos dictatorship, organizations, parties and individuals who stood and fought against martial law were also branded communists or friends of communists. Many of the organizations suppressed by Marcos became targets of suppression and killings in post-Marcos regimes. They suffered some of the worst attacks under the 9-year Arroyo fascist regime. They now suffer even worse suppression under the Duterte fascist regime.

Freedom- and democracy-loving people must display greater courage. There is honor in being branded Red if it means selflessly serving the people.

Their bravery and militance is much needed in the fight against fascist brutality, corruption and national treachery of the Duterte regime and its plan to perpetuate itself in power. At the same time, they need to be smart to frustrate the evil fascists to oppress them legally and extrajudicially.

In the face of worse repression and shrinking democratic space, the doors of the New People’s Army are always open to welcome anyone who need protection who wish to offer their ability and talents to serve the peasant masses and advance the people’s war for national freedom and democracy.

Parlade and NTF-ELCAC must answer for any harm that may befall red-tagging victims