The NAGKAISA Labor Coalition deplores and manifests its affiliates solidarity to Tetch Torres-Tupas of the Inquirer and join her journalist association abhoring Lt. Gen. Parlade Jr's remarks against a reporter who just reported a fact of the filling of a petition for intervention by two aetas, who are incarcerated due to alleged violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
The remark of said high ranking military officer appears to reflect the quality of his thinking and leadership. He is unnecessarily creating hostility instead of creating friends or symphatizers to his cause.
He needs to apologize for his careless statement.
We agree with Senator Lacson that Southern Luzon Command chief’s remarks against Inquirer reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas were “careless” and “totally unnecessary”.
This is an actual fact of public knowledge that the Supreme Court should consider as a good ground to junk the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Gen Parlade's remark is stultifying and a grave threat to our press and freedom of expression.
The threat to our rights and liberties is real.
An attack on freedom of expression also
directly and indirectly undermines workers and trade union rights.
Recently, London-based think tank Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked the Philippines 55th out of 167 countries in the global democracy index for 2020.
It seems Parlade needs to go back to officers' candidate school to review his constitutional law. Particularly, he needs to be reminded of Section 4 of the Bill of Rights that speaks:"No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."
Freedom of expression protects a reporter's right to write a news or hold an opinion and to express them freely without state or military interference.
Nagkaisa Press Statement
February 5, 2021
Ref. Atty. Sonny Matula