Assistant minority leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas on Saturday, July 3, said that the resignation of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesman Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. is a “mere attempt to ease the pressure over the increasing public outrage on the red-tagging agency’s P19 billion budget amid the COVID-!9 pandemic.”
“Resignation is definitely not enough. Sa simula’t sapul, illegal at unconstitutional ang pagtatalaga sa kanya (Right from the start, Parlade’s appointment as NTDF ELCAC spokesman is illegal and unconstitutional). General Parlade’s political and military career is marred with corruption and human rights violations. He should be held accountable for his crimes against the Filipino people,” Brosas alleged.
The lady lawmaker also said that the NTF-ELCAC should not be spared from accountability as the agency became a solid platform for corrupt government officials and military men to red-tag, harass, and vilify progressive groups amd individuals.
“There is a need to junk Executive Order 70 to effectively abolish the NTF-ELCAC. This is why we must challenge EO 70 in all avenues possible, and urge presidential aspirants to take a clear stand on it,” she added.
Replying, Parlade said his resignation sent to Malacanang was meant ‘’to ease the pressure to the NTF ELCAC principals who are being questioned by legislators for designating me despite my being in the active service.
‘’There are so many legal bases justifying my appointment as constitutional but I will not belabor myself with those. I am happy that there are now six more civilian NTF spokespersons who shall carry on the fight passionately and with conviction,’’ he stressed.
‘’Even then, I want to assure our critics that I am not running away from this fight. As a citizen of this country it behooves on me to continue with my patriotic duty to defend our country and end the 52 years onslaught of the CPP NPA terrorists, whatever legal way I can. Ngayon pa na patapos na sila (What now? The insurgency is on its death throes)?’’ he asked.