MANILA – Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has already apologized to Catriona Gray for red-tagging her, the former Miss Universe said in an ANC interview on Wednesday.
Speaking on “Headstart,” Gray said Parlade personally reached out to her and her team on Tuesday night for dragging her name into the red-tagging issue.
“I appreciate that he really reached out because it gave me clarification from my end also from the surprise that I felt. I do appreciate him taking that initiative. He sent me a formal letter po,” she said.
According to Gray, she was very surprised and concerned when her name surfaced especially since she was not even in the Gabriela forum as one of the special guests discussing issues that girls and young women are facing in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When the news did come about, I was very surprised. But the groups that I work with, I want people to know that when I am an ambassadress, I don’t just stick my name on an organization without really knowing what that group does, what projects they are involved in,” she said.
“I knew the truth. The team around me knows the truth and I feel that what I stand for and what I work towards is really for the benefit of the Filipino people. I just continued to work with my groups and I am also really thankful that they showed support to me,” she added.
With everything that happened, Gray said her takeaway would be that people should be “careful of the information you take as truth and also to really research or fact check before making public statements.”
Gray said this should be a big learning curve for everyone that if there is really an intention to protect, it should be done in a certain way “because I feel like the way that it was done did not achieve what he (Parlade) intended to do.”
“I hope that going forward, if there are any warnings to give, or advice to give, that it would be done in the proper means which I feel is to contact directly the group or the individual to let your concerns be known in that way,” she said.
Nonetheless, Gray said she is standing up against red-tagging because it can construe someone in a certain light.
“I feel that there should be evidence given or a basis given for that tag, for that accusation… As with me, there was no actual connection for me and the Gabriela organization. Just that alone is an example of what can happen if proper evidence is not given, or if proper basis is not presented forward,” she said.