Lorenzana to Parlade: Don’t include me in your political agenda
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday told off ex-military Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. for involving him in a political squabble with a presidential candidate to advance his political ambitions.
After coming to the defense of Parlade following his previous tirades against personalities and red-tagging of activists and organizations, which he believed were backed by proof, Lorenzana said the former soldier and presidential aspirant’s claims this time against Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go were baseless.
On Tuesday’s airing of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Talk to the People,” taped on Monday, Lorenzana said he phoned Parlade after listening to the former general’s media interviews during the filing of his certificate of candidacy for president at the Commission on Elections.
He said he called up Parlade when he heard his name mentioned among those supposedly in-the-know on how Go controlled Duterte’s decisions.
Lorenzana later said in a text message to reporters on Tuesday, “[I told Parlade] not to include me in his political agenda.”
He further said, “I have no idea what [Parlade] was talking about,” referring to Parlade’s reason why he could not support Go’s presidential aspiration. Parlade had claimed that he did not appreciate how Go basically ordered Duterte around.
Parlade had said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other government officials, including the defense secretary, could answer why he was not aligned with Go.
During Tuesday’s airing of Duterte’s “Talk to the People,” Lorenzana read his press statement released on Monday in reaction to Parlade’s allegations.
He said: “[Lt. Gen.] Parlade’s statement is baseless. 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.”
‘Main bridge to president’
“As then special assistant to the President and now senator, Bong Go has assisted the Department of National Defense in ensuring the doubling of the salaries of the uniformed personnel as directed by Duterte. He has also been consistent in strongly supporting the DND in all its programs and modernization efforts,” Lorenzana said.
“In all these endeavors, Bong Go’s support to the DND and AFP has not abated. He has always been our main bridge to the President and I have not known any instance when [Go] acted outside the wishes and decisions of the president,” he said.
“In addition, the AFP remains a professional organization that continues to work in the interest of the Filipino people, regardless of the prevailing political landscape,” Lorenzana said. “There is no truth to the allegations that there is brewing trouble or discontent in the AFP.”
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