The Duterte administration should use Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, Jr.’s skill for profiling to boost the government’s contact-tracing efforts to help combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country, Senator Nancy Binay said on Friday, April 23.
“Baka yung skill ni Parlade for profiling (Maybe Parlade’s skill for profiling) be better off being used in the government’s contact-tracing…because, the enemy right now is COVID-19. (Dapat) all efforts (dun nakatuon eh) should be focused on that right now,” Binay said in an interview on ANC’s Matters of Fact.
“With his penchant to profile, baka mas maganda yun for contact tracing, dahil alam naman natin na kulang tayo sa resources, kulang tayo sa tao (I think his skill is better for contact tracing, because we all know we lack the resources, lack the manpower),” she further said.
“Baka (Maybe) there’s a need to seek towards that para di naman masayang yung kakayahan niya (so his capabilities won’t go to waste),” she pointed out.
Binay confirmed she is among the senators who supported a Senate committee report that was adopted by the upper chamber recommending that Parlade be removed as head of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Aside from the red-tagging of organizers of community pantries, Binay said senators believe there is a “gray area” on the issue about Parlade’s position as head of the state’s anti-insurgency body.
She said senators saw there is a clear constitutional violation for Parlade to occupy a position of a civilian agency when he is still actively part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“So, I think that’s given that he really needs to be removed from that position,” she said.
Binay added she believes Parlade’s remarks about the community pantry organizers do not have the backing of Malacañang or other government agencies. She pointed out that even members of the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have also joined in donating vegetables and other food items in these community pantries.
“Dapat nga we should all be working together not seeing each other as competition,” Binay said.
“But you know with statements from him, parang ganun yung nagiging (that is becoming the) impression. And I don’t think that’s the position of Malacañang, that’s not the position of AFP. The mere fact that, I think, yesterday there are members from the AFP who donated vegetables in Maginhawa,” she said referring to the village in Quezon City where the first community pantry started.
Asked whether or not she believes Parlade’s pronouncement is supported by Malacañang, Binay said she will just take other government officials statements supporting the community pantry at face value.
“Well, we just have to believe that statement. If their actions are different from their statements, then alam na natin na hanggang salita lang yung ganung pahayag (Then we know they are just only making fond of statements),” she pointed out.
“The secretaries already issued statement of support. Si Gen. Parlade meron siyang sariling galaw, meron siyang sariling (has his own thing, he has his own) statement,” she noted.
“I don’t know if that is a strategy. That’s a million dollar question, kumbaga ang dami na niyang maling-mali na sinasabi (he had committed a lot of blunders) but he’s still there and he’s not being reprimanded. So I don’t know why Gen. Parlade is giving that impression that he is untouchable,” she further said.