‘Recycled officials’: Bayan Muna denounces Parlade’s appointment to NSC
MANILA, Philippines — Party-list group Bayan Muna has denounced the appointment of former Army Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. to the National Security Council (NSC), saying that the official should face complaints from alleged red-tagging instead.
According to Rep. Ferdinand Gaite, it appears that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is again into “reusing and recycling,” as Parlade’s new assignment also comes after he left the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
NTF-ELCAC is the localized anti-communist drive of the government, whose methods have been criticized by leftist groups like Bayan Muna and the rest of the Makabayan bloc in Congress.
“Reuse and recycle? Sinuka na ng taumbayan yang red-tagger at sinungaling na yan eh, sa halip na maupo sa bagong posisyon dapat sagutin niya ang mga sinampang kaso sa kaniya sa Ombudsman, ang reklamo ng mga Senador sa kaniyang appointment sa isang sibiliyang posisyon noong siya ay aktibong kasapi pa ng AFP at iba pang mga paglabag,” Gaite said.
(Reuse and recycle? The country has already vomited out that red-tagger and liar. Instead of occupying a new post he should answer the cases filed against him at the Office of the Ombudsman, the complaints of Senators about his appointment to a civilian post while a military official, and other transgressions.)
“Kundi niya yan masasagot ay dapat nagpatuloy na lang siya sa kanyang pagreretiro at pananahimik. Magiging pabigat at pa-swelduhin lamang iyan sa panahon na kailangan natin ang bawat sentimo para sa pagharap sa pandemya,” he added.
(If he can’t answer that, he should instead continue his retirement and stay silent. He would only be a burden and another official who’d receive salaries amid a pandemic, when we should save every single centavo to address problems.)
Fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat also accused the administration of being keen on “recycling garbage” — but not the good kind.
“Ang administrasyong Duterte ay mahilig magrecycle ng basura, yun nga lang ay hindi environmental friendly. Ang pag-appoint din sa kanya ay nakakabahala dahil sa kanyang record bilang spokesperson ng NTF-ELCAC na madaming niredtag at biniktimang aktibista, artista at mga lehitimong progresibong organisasyon, gayundin ang pagkakalat at pagpapakalat ng fake news,” Cullamat said.
(The Duterte administration likes to recycle trash, but not in a environmental-friendly way. The appointment of Parlade is alarming because of his record at the NTF-ELCAC wherein he red-tagged activists, artists, and other legitimate progressive organizations along with spreading fake news.)
Earlier, Malacañang confirmed that President Duterte has appointed Parlade as Deputy Director-General of the National Security Council. The military general’s appointment comes over a month after he stepped down as NTF-ELCAC spokesperson and as Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command.
INQUIRER.net has sought the side of Parlade but he has not yet replied as of posting time.
This is not the first time that lawmakers or officials of Bayan Muna were engaged in word war with Parlade; as early as 2019, Rep. Carlos Zarate claimed that Parlade’s attacks on the Makabayan bloc were only meant to score points, as he wants to be AFP chief.
Parlade replied that he has no aspirations to be head the military, asserting that he does not work just to make his way up the ranks.
The groups also argued after Parlade supposedly linked several celebrities to the armed struggle, although the official said back then that it was only a warning about the true nature of the left-leaning organizations.
In 2020, Zarate filed complaints against Parlade before the Office of the Ombudsman for partisan political activity due to the latter’s alleged tendency to tag critics and leftists as members of the communist rebel group New People’s Army.
But Parlade maintained several times that he has not been red-tagging the leftist groups, as it was Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison who linked the groups to the communist struggle.
Gaite said that Parlade would only use the NSC platform to attack government critics and subject the left to red-tagging, accusing the retired official of working for the administration in the 2022 national elections.
“This is clearly part of the whole effort of the Duterte regime to unleash more lies and violence against the Filipino people who are sick and tired of their failed leadership. We can expect nothing else but more bloodshed, more black propaganda, more violations of human rights with Parlade’s appointment,” he noted.
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