Parlade talks ‘rev gov’; ignore him, says DND chief
MANILA, Philippines — Antonio Parlade Jr. is apparently not the type who’ll just fade away.
The retired Army lieutenant general, known for his strong stance against communist insurgency and accusing a number of personalities of being rebel sympathizers, showed up on Tuesday with a group of supporters at the People Power monument, where he griped about corruption while making reference to a revolutionary government.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quick to douse Parlade’s “rev gov” talk, telling the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ignore him.
Parlade met up with a group said to be representing different social sectors at the monument on Edsa for a “dialogue” on corruption, soaring fuel prices, and the leftist rebellion, among other issues.
The attendees included actress Vivian Velez, who has identified herself as among Duterte Diehard Supporters, or DDS.
Against a backdrop of streamers expressing support for President Rodrigo Duterte and calling for the establishment of a revolutionary government, Parlade spoke out against government shenanigans, singling out the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which earlier disqualified him from the presidential race.
Wearing a Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) shirt, Parlade said he personally experienced corruption in the Comelec when he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.
“I was required to pay several millions so I could run. Until finally they removed my name for some flimsy reason — technical disqualification,” he said. “I just want this problem addressed … (In the current electoral system) just about anybody can run as long as they have money.”
The Comelec should be purged and all its members replaced, he added. There was no immediate comment from the poll body.
Asked by reporters if the assembly at the Edsa landmark was pushing for a revolutionary government, Parlade said: “We’re not saying that’s the solution. We’re just informing the people that this is our situation now. It’s up to you to find out the right solution. If it’s ‘rev gov’ and you say so, so be it.”
Parlade earlier headed Solcom and served as spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), where he often drew criticism for Red-tagging some organizations, lawmakers, journalists and even celebrities.
He quit his NTF-Elcac post in July 2021 but was appointed deputy director general of the National Security Council two months later. In November, he filed his COC for president as a substitute for Antonio Valdes of the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino.
Valdes filed his COC as an independent but later withdrew it. Under Comelec rules, substitution cannot apply to independent candidates.Within hours, Lorenzana told reporters that he had directed the AFP to “ignore (Parlade), not to listen to him.”
Later in a statement, the defense chief called out Parlade’s attempts “to involve the (defense) department, especially the AFP, in airing his personal grievances and his call for a revolutionary government.”
Lorenzana said Filipinos have the right to freely express grievances “but this should be done through proper … mechanisms.’’
The AFP, he said, must remain “apolitical and neutral.”
AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala, in a separate statement, said the country’s 145,000-strong military remained “firm in its resolve to be loyal to the Constitution” and “solid behind the chain of command.”
—WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH
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