“WHY DO they tolerate him? Will they sacrifice the entire establishment just because of one of its officers’ loose lips?”
So, asked Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson of the the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) over the ululations of its mouthpiece Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. against the community pantry initiative that spread all round the country.
While he believes that the NTF-ELCAC is doing well in terms of developing areas cleared of the New People’s Army, Parlade’s foot-in-mouth statements threatened all the inroads gained by the government.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines must remain apolitical. Otherwise, the constitutional balance among institutions is skewed and democratic governance is disturbed and even threatened. Lt. Gen. Parlade should just focus on ending insurgency and fighting terrorism. When he retires, he can debate all he wants on political issues,” said Lacson who chairs the Senate defense committee.
Furthering: “Because of his commentaries, the NTF-ELCAC is dragged into controversies. Nauuna ang bibig niya sa kanyang ginagawa. Yan ang danger, kasi nakakagulo na. Instead of helping, his loose lips threaten to drag the NTF-ELCAC into the mess.”
A mess indeed, with Parlade even verbally abusing senators for questioning his statements.
“If there is any consolation to the senators of this benighted land, arrogance and idiocy will never be doctrinal among the active members of the noble profession of arms,” Lacson said, even as he warned of a growing consensus among senators in the minority and majority “to send a message to the defense department that cooperation is a two-way street.”
That message can be in the form of denying the NTF-ELCAC a budget for 2022 if Parlade is retained as spokesperson.
“They (defense department) cannot just keep asking without giving back,” Lacson stressed.
To the senator, it would be best if Parlade resigned as NTF-ELCAC spokesperson and “focus on fighting insurgency and terrorism in his remaining months in the military service” as it is “not his mandate as a military man to dabble in politics.”
Lest he dragged the whole defense department down the drain.
“Sobrang madada. Hindi na enthusiasm yan,” Lacson quipped.