‘Recycling garbage’ Parlade’s NSC appointment seen to worsen Red-tagging
The appointment of retired Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. to the National Security Council (NSC) came as no surprise, given President Duterte’s fondness for “recycling” controversial public officials.
House Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro made this statement on Friday even as she warned that Parlade’s designation as NSC deputy director general will only worsen the Red-tagging against critics and human rights defenders.
“I expected Parlade’s appointment to any position in government, since Mr. Duterte is fond of recycling garbage. Parlade is known as a rabid Red-tagger and commander of human rights violations, so Mr. Duterte will benefit from him as he maligns the opposition and the Makabayan bloc this election season,” Castro said.
In a statement, the Makabayan lawmaker accused the Duterte administration of preparing for even more Red-tagging rather than responding to gaps in the health-care system and planning for the safe reopening of schools.
“Parlade’s appointment will only lead to worsening Red-tagging against human rights defenders, teachers, farmers, lawyers, health-care workers, unionists and anyone who dares to criticize the government’s policies,” Castro said.
She made the remarks after Malacañang announced Parlade’s appointment on Thursday, which came two months after Parlade’s retirement from the military.
Prior to his retirement, Parlade led the Southern Luzon Command while serving as one of the spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).
An anticommunist hardliner, he made controversial remarks against progressive lawmakers, journalists and show biz celebrities, and even cast doubts on the intent of community pantry organizers.
His critics slammed his statements as Red-tagging and previously demanded his sacking from the NTF-Elcac. The Makabayan bloc has also called for the defunding of the anticommunist task force, which has a proposed budget of P28 billion for 2022.
Castro stressed that the public “should be protected from people like Parlade, who has done nothing but to put the lives of peace-loving advocates in danger with his nonstop and baseless Red-tagging.”
“At a time when the people are angry at the Duterte administration for the worst surge in this pandemic and the struggling health-care system, the pandemic response seems to lack direction. The government prefers to recycle the likes of Parlade,” she added.
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