Parlade, Badoy stay in task force pending review, says Esperon | Inquirer News
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Parlade, Badoy stay in task force pending review, says Esperon

/ 07:14 PM April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The spokespersons of a government counterinsurgency task force—Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy—are to keep their positions but faced a review after legislators took offense at the officials’ controversial comments on community pantries and the task force’s P19-billion budget for 2021, according to a high-ranking task force official.

At least 15 senators crossed party lines to denounce Parlade for commenting that senators were “stupid” for threatening to defund the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Eclac) because the senators had approved of the task force’s P19-billion funding under the 2021 national budget.

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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Parlade’s appointment as spokesperson of NTF-Elcac was a violation of the Constitution which Drilon said prohibits active military officers from occupying positions in the Executive branch.

Deputy Speaker Michael Romero had also called for an inquiry into how the task force is using its P19-billion budget, which is supposed to be spent mostly on projects for villages that were insurgency-free.

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Parlade and Badoy also drew outrage after linking, without substantial evidence, community pantries to communist guerrillas. On social media, Badoy claimed she had uncovered the leftist background of businesswoman Ana Patricia Non, who revolutionized community pantries by starting a highly-popular one on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. Also on social media, Parlade likened Non’s community pantry to the work of Satan.

“For now, General Parlade and Usec Lorraine Badoy will remain in their positions but we will have a review within the week and we will exercise the options available to us,” said former armed forces chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr., now national security adviser and vice chair of NTF-Eclac, in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“We are not insensitive to the sentiments of our friends and supporters in Congress,” Esperon said.

“We will look into that but for now, pending the result of our consultations and meetings within the week, they will remain as spokespersons,” he said.

Esperon said he had ordered Parlade and Badoy to “desist from issuing statements” on community pantries. The two spokespersons declared on social media that they were not being gagged.

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TAGS: Antonio Parlade, counterinsurgency, Hermogenes Esperon, Lorraine Badoy, NTF-ECLAC, spokespersons
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