Palace says Parlade not enough reason to shun NTF-Elcac policy
MANILA, Philippines — A mere spokesperson should not be a reason to ignore a government policy, Malacañang said Monday amid calls to defund the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) over its alleged involvement in a number of red-tagging incidents.
“Malayo pa ‘yung tatahakin nyan kung talagang madedefund po ‘yan. Ang aking panawagan sa ating mga policy makers, alam naman po nila na ang policy ay may pagkakaiba doon sa mga nagpapatupad ng policy. At hindi naman dahilan para isang tao na tagapag-salita ang maging dahilan para mabalewala ang isang polisiya,” asserted presidential spokesperson Harry Roque during an online briefing when asked to comment on proposals to withdraw funds from the anti-insurgency task force.
(It will take a long way before it is defunded. My call to our policymakers, they know that policy is different from those who implement the policy. A spokesperson is not a reason to shun a policy.)
Previously, Roque said defunding NTF-Elcac is “not justified” because it is a government project to end insurgency in local communities.
He also agreed with NTF-Elcac spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., who said senators should not defund the agency if they have a problem with him.
“Tama po ‘yun, we agree,” Roque said when sought to comment on Parlade’s remark.
(That’s right, we agree.)
Several lawmakers have called for the withdrawal of the NTF-Elcac budget, which, they also said, should instead be reallocated to the government’s pandemic response after task force officials were linked to the red-tagging of a community pantry organizer.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has since ordered NTF-Elcac’s spokespersons Parlade and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy to stop commenting on community pantries.