Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, the spokesman of the country's counter-insurgency task force, branded an Inquirer.net journalist as a "propagandist," drawing protests from media and lawyers groups.
Parlade is "incorrigibly remorseless," said the National Union of Lawyers of the Philippines. He had earlier posted on Facebook about actresses Angel Locsin and Liza Soberano and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
The general called out veteran justice beat reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas for her story on a petition filed by Aetas before the Supreme Court on the anti-terror law. He said Tupas failed to get the military's side.
The report, however, is about a Supreme Court filing and not the merits of the incident that was cited in the petition.
In the comments section, Parlade was asked if a case could be filed, to which he replied: "Aiding the terrorists by spreading lies? PUEDE."
The Justice and Court Reporters Association or JUCRA, of which Tupas is a member, said Parlade's actions were "unacceptable."
"Parlade did not only red-tag Tupas, he also threatened her with prosecution, just because she did her job, which all of us in JUCRA do everyday," the group said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said Parlade's actions are "directed not only at those questioning the ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) but also at those covering those questioning the controversial law."
"The government has repeatedly issued reassurances that the law will not be used to stifle dissent or to clamp down on the press. But actions and statements by people like Parlade, who will be tasked with implementing the Anti-Terrorism Law, speak louder than those press statements," the NUJP said.
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