The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should censure National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade. Jr. for conduct unbecoming of an officer and for violating civilian supremacy over the military.
“Respect and obedience to the chain of command is a sacred and fundamental principle in the military. Despite a standing order from his superiors, Parlade’s red-tagging ordinary citizens and name-calling elected officials sow division and disunity in the military hierarchy,” Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said in a statement on Sunday.
Pangilinan made the call after National Security Adviser Hermgenes Esperon, Jr. issued a gag order against Parlade after he was criticized for red-tagging community pantries that have sprouted up in various parts in Metro Manila.
Parlade also called senators “stupid” after they called for the defunding of the NTF-ELCAC’s P19-billion budget and realigning it to the government’s COVID-19 response.
Sen. Nancy Binay said she would support the filing of a resolution censuring Parlade that Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon intends to file this week.
“There’s basis for Senate Minority Leader Drilon file a motion censuring General Parlade because we all know the statements he said against the Senate are inappropriate,” Binay said in an interview over Radio DZRH.
“At the end of the day, we need to protect the institution,” Binay stressed.
Pangilinan also said that aside from tarnishing the image of the AFP as an institution that adheres to the strictest tenets of discipline and professionalism, Parlade’s misconduct conveys to junior military officers the message that a subordinate senior military officer can disregard basic law of the land.
It also shows, the senator said, that Parlade can ignore the AFP Chief of Staff’s order and operate outside the chain of command “and get away with it.”
“If the AFP can discipline intel chief Major General Alex Luna and remove him as intel chief for the red-tagging of UP alumni in January this year, why can’t it discipline Parlade?” he pointed out.
“This AFP inaction may be misconstrued as the AFP playing favorites and that some are more favored than others,” he stressed.