By Deighton Acuin


Malacañang said it is up to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) if it wants to fire Southern Luzon Command Chief Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. as the spokesperson over “reckless” red-tagging.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Tuesday presser that President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the matter after several senators recommended to remove Parlade after issuing attacks against community pantries and lawmakers.

After attacks on pantries, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperson ordered Parlade and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy to refrain issuing negative statements since the government is supporting the growing initiative.

However, Senator Panfilo Lacson said a gag order against Parlade is “not the appropriate response” and that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) should heed the calls of recalling him from military service.

Lacson added the military general cannot assume any civilian post because of being an active member of the country’s armed forces.

“He should be censured for dabbling in politics instead of just focusing on his inherent mission as commanding general of the Southern Luzon Command — that is to fight threats such as terrorism and insurgency,” the senator said.

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