Making friends is not about quantity, you have to be wary about "snakes," said a top Army general who has been criticized for mentioning celebrities, a journalist and schools in his posts against communist insurgents.
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade was asked to reflect on the statement of the new Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, that winning the decades-long fight against the left would entail making more friends than enemies. In military-speak, it's "winning the hearts and minds."
"Of course, I believe him. We believe in the value of having more friends but you choose your friends hindi tayo paramihan lang nang paramihan. Kung mag-aalaga ka lang naman ng ulupong 'wag na," he told ANC's Headstart.
"Kung bilangan ng kaibigan basehan ngayon, maybe you can do a short survey, let's see kung mas marami tayong kaibigan o mas marami tayong kaaway because of this... Let's do that." he said.
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Parlade also apologized to Inquirer.net reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas, whom he branded as a propagandist for reporting on a petition filed by a group of Aetas against the Anti-Terrorism Act.
"Just to assure Miss Tupas that we mean no harm to her, yeah of course, I'd like to say sorry to those circulating in the news that im threatening her. I'm not," he said.
Asked to clarify what he was apologizing for, Parlade said: "Kasi ang lumalabas, parang natatakot na si Tetch for my statements. That is also because of the way the media portrays the issue. Personally, wala akong intention kay Tetch na ganyan maramdaman niya," he said.
Parlade, however, said he would not apologize in a personal capacity. "Gusto nila, mag-apologize ako. As a person, nagalit din ako at na-offend ako sa report nila. I will not."
The general heads the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command and is spokesman of the NTF-ELCAC or the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.