Senate panel to summon Parlade to hearing on red-tagging

Rambo Talabong
Senator Panfilo Lacson files a resolution to probe red-tagging by the government

The Senate panel will summon Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr over the government’s red-tagging practices that have drawn condemnation from the public.

In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, October 28, Senate committee on national defense chairman Panfilo Lacson announced that he had filed a resolution earlier in the day to probe “the root of conflict” in red-tagging and red-baiting.

“The problem is that he (Parlade) overanalyzes and he overtalks,” Lacson told reporters.

His announcement came in the aftermath of widespread condemnation of the military and the police’s red-tagging practices, which reached a climax when Parlade red-tagged popular actress Liza Soberano for speaking at a women’s rights webinar hosted by Gabriela.

Gabriela is a leftist group that is neither militant nor revolutionary. The military insists the group is a “legal front” and recruitment base of the communist armed group, the New People’s Army.

Parlade, who the military’s Southern Luzon commander, is spokesman of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Why does this matter?

This is the first time that a Senate panel will probe red-tagging by the government – a practice that intensified through social media under the Duterte administration. (READ: Gov’t platforms being used to attack, red-tag media)

Like other Senate probes, the investigation is expected to lead to recommendations for laws to be crafted by the Senate and the House of Representatives to address concerns that will be uncovered during the hearing.

Activists have been flagging the military and police’s red-tagging practices as baseless and threatening to not just activists, but any Filipino who criticizes the government.

The military insisted that it was all in the name of propaganda to end the communist insurgency in the Philippines – the longest-running in Asia. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.