Constitution not violated in Parlade’s appointment to anti-insurgency task force — Lorenzana
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday said he does not see any violation of the 1987 Constitution in the designation of Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. as the spokesperson of the Duterte’s administration’s anti-insurgency task force.
The Senate has recommended the immediate relief of Parlade as the spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), saying his designation is a violation of the Constitution.
The Senate cited Article 16, Section 5, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution which states that “no member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in active service shall at any time be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the government.”
Lorenzana said the issue is a “very complicated one” since the NTF-ELCAC is headed by the Philippine National Police and by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of which Parlade is a member.
“Kami ang involved diyan. We are involved here. Kung tanggaling mo ‘yang si General Parlade ay tanggalin mo na rin kami diyan, ‘yung Armed Forces,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(We are involved there. If you remove General Parlade, the Armed Forces should also be removed.)
He said Parlade’s expertise as a member of the AFP is “being utilized” as the spokesman of the task force.
“The main effort [of the task force] is being led by the PNP and the AFP and General Parlade is part of the AFP so his expertise is being utilized as a spokesman of the NTF-ELCAC,” the Defense chief said.
“Wala akong nakikitang violation of the Constitution,” he added.
For its part, Malacañang deferred to Lorenzana on the decision to remove Parlade from his post.
“Hinihinayaan na po natin ang decision na ‘yan kay Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ng National Defense,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a separate briefing.
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