Gabriela party-list Representative Arlene Brosas on Thursday accused Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. of "rabidly red-tagging" actress Liza Soberano and other female celebrities and influencers who were taking a stand and speaking out against the macho-fascism under the Duterte regime."
"How come these macho-fascists have the audacity to mansplain strong women and lecture them on what to do? And why do they seem so afraid of women using their platform to defend other women?" Brosas said.
The term means a man explaining something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and over inaccurate or oversimplified manner.
In the Senate, Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros joined Brosas in slamming Parlade of the government's National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for red- tagging actress Soberano and 2018 Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray for their links to women's rights groups.
Hontiveros said: "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."
She warned Parlade against using his power as a military general to threaten and harass Soberano and Gray.
She told him to be prepared once he faces anew the Commission on Appointments.
Parlade has warned Soberano regarding her support to Gabriela Women's Party, which the military claims is a front organization of communist rebels.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Parlade said the actress should not be red-tagged as she was merely supporting the advocacy for women's rights.
Parlade said Soberano was "not yet" a member of the New People's Army and that she and other celebrities should be educated on the "hidden violent agenda" of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Makibaka is an underground group hiding under Gabriela Women's Party, said Parlade.
In saying Soberano is "not yet an NPA," Brosas said Paralde was "maliciously associating" the actress with the armed movement when she only spoke up for the victims of gender-based violence and abuse.
"These rabid NTF-ELCAC executives are using their rehashed script to discredit Gabriela Women’s Party despite our long track record of advocating women’s rights. Our 20 years of advancing women and children’s rights inside and outside of Congress cannot be smeared by their repeated lies," Brosas said.
"They are becoming desperate as we approach our 20th anniversary celebration on October 25, wherein we will highlight our achievements and the broad support for our agenda and advocacy," she added.
Meanwhile, the legal counsel of Liza Soberano on Thursday slammed the alleged red-tagging of the actress on social media, saying she remained apolitical.
"We denounce in the strongest terms the red tagging of our client, Ms. Liza Soberano, in some social media platforms," Attorney Juanito Lim Jr. said in a statement obtained by GMA News Online.
"Expressing her love and respect for women and children is her personal advocacy," he added.
Some netizens pounced on Soberano after she attended a webinar organized by Gabriela Youth where she encouraged women to be vocal about different issues.
According to Lim, Soberano neither supports nor antagonizes any person's political views. "The important point here is respect for others, a virtue she has consciously practised all her life," he said.
"We, thus, call on everyone concerned to be circumspect in associating our client with their respective political beliefs, whatever it may be," Lim added.
Hontiveros said by silencing the two women, Parlade was condoning violence, rape,and the many abuses on Filipinos
"This is a shame to your rank and to the PMA," she added.
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