Lorenzana: Parlade claim Bong Go controls Duterte ‘baseless’ | Inquirer News
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Lorenzana: Parlade claim Bong Go controls Duterte ‘baseless’

/ 08:47 PM November 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday (Nov. 15) rejected the claims of retired Army general Antonio Parlade Jr. that former presidential aide and now senator Christopher “Bong” Go is controlling the decisions of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Parlade, who became controversial as a spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for red-tagging celebrities and activists when he was in the active service, filed his candidacy for president in the May 2022 elections, as substitute of Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino party.

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Parlade is running against several candidates, among them Go, who withdrew his candidacy for vice president to run for president.

The retired general claimed that it was common knowledge among officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that Go controlled the decisions of Duterte.

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But Lorenzana said this was “baseless.”

“Lt. Gen Parlade’s statement is baseless,” said Lorenzana.

“In the years I have known the President, he has always been his own man. The President stands by his own decisions, has always been firm in his directives to us, who are working for him, and is not as easily swayed or influenced by others as purported by the general,” he said.

Parlade resigned from NTF-ELCAC in June before retiring in July as commander of Southern Luzon Command, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56. He was appointed as deputy director general of the National Security Council in September.

The retired general, who is joining a crowded presidential race when many speculated he would run for senator, said Go was among the country’s problems.

“I’m sorry but isa siya, kasama siya sa mga problema ng bayan natin (I’m sorry but he’s one, he’s among the nation’s problems)…You ask your people, you ask your constituents, you ask people in the government, you ask the AFP why,” Parlade told reporters.

Lorenzana defended Go, whom he said served as the defense sector’s “main bridge” to Duterte.

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“He has always been our main bridge to the President and I have not known any instance when SBG acted outside the wishes and decisions of the President,” Lorenzana said, using the initials for Senator Bong Go.

Go helped the Department of National Defense “in ensuring the doubling of the salaries of the uniformed personnel.”

The senator has also been “consistent in strongly supporting DND in all its programs and modernization efforts,” according to Lorenzana.

The defense chief also played down allegations that there was “brewing trouble or discontent” in the armed forces.

“The AFP remains a professional organization that continues to work in the interest of the Filipino people, regardless of the prevailing political landscape,” he said.

Earlier, the AFP and the Philippine Army said that they were focused on their mandate to ensure peaceful and orderly elections, and will not be dragged into partisan politics and actions of political aspirants.

TSB

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TAGS: Antonio Parlade Jr., Bong Go, Delfin Lorenzana, Elections 2022, Rodrigo Duterte
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