MANILA -- Director Joel Lamangan, Bayan Muna party list and other personalities defended Liza Soberano, Catriona Gray and other individuals amid renewed red-tagging and threats due to their advocacies for women.
Lamangan zeroed in on the latest statement of Palace spokesperson Harry Roque who warned Soberano and Gray of their ties with progressive groups.
It echoed the Facebook page of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. who said Soberano should be educated about her ties with Gabriela Youth.
"She has to be protected in the exercise of her rights. Is she an NPA? No, of course not. Not yet. So let's help educate her and the other celebrity targets of Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA), the Underground Mass Organization hiding under Gabriela Women's Party," he said.
“Katarantaduhan yan! He is the one who needs re-education! Karapatan ng sinumang babae ang tumulong sa mga taong gusto niyang tulungan,” Lamangan told ABS-CBN News Thursday. “Ano ba? Pandemya na, wala ba silang magawa?”
Lamangan also lamented the red-tagging, threats and insinuations against Soberano, Gray and other women. “Nag-uumpisa na ang kanilang pananakot at ang inuuna nila ang mga kababaihan na gusto nilang yumuko at sumunod sa kanila,” he said.
Veteran scriptwriter Ricky Lee also described as degrading and reprehensible the attacks on women artists. “Di dapat ginagawa 'yan. It creates an atmosphere of fear in democratic society everyone has a right to express their opinion kung ano ang tamang palakad sa ating lipunan,” he said.
Lee is also amazed at the transformation of Soberano and other artists. “Dapat nga matuwa tayo dahil hindi sila 'yung sinasabing ‘artista lang yan.’ Sila ay may paninindigan ngayon, at kung 'di tayo umaayon sa kanila, respetuhin na lang natin, dahil boses nila 'yon,” he said.
Parlade, likewise, issued a similar warning to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
"The choice is yours Liza. And so with you Catriona. Don't follow the path Ka Ella Colmenares (Locsin) took in the underground and NPA Quezon. I am sure Angel Locsin and Neri Colmenares will not tell you this," he alleged.
Gray and her management company have yet to issue her statement on the issue, according to her legal counsel Joji Alonso. But her friend, Binibining Pilipinas fellow titlist and associate Nicole Cordoves, stood up for Gray.
“Why am I no longer surprised? This just goes to show that Catriona’s views are effective, “ she told ABS-CBN News, reiteratjng that the time has come for people to support individuals pushing for citizens rights and causes.
“Let's protect the people who have the courage to speak up for us," Cordoves said. “They may not speak for everyone, but in a democracy, everyone is considered important."
House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also bewailed the view of Parlade in red-tagging individuals who work or espouse the same cause and issues of progressive groups.
“The likes of Parlade in the NTF-ELCAC, presume that celebrities, the youth, women, urban poor, lumad and rural folk are ignorant or even stupid to stand up for their rights and beliefs on their own," he told ABS-CBN News. “They impute that they cannot think on their own and see who are the ones oppressing and exploiting them.”
“We are glad that celebrities like Liza Soberano, Catriona Gray and Angel Locsin, among others, are using their fame and stature to speak up for the marginalized and the exploited. We hope that more celebrities would stand up against oppression. We in Bayan Muna will be with you until injustice, exploitation and oppression are eradicated.”