MANILA, Philippines – Six Senators on Thursday asked Malacañang to remove Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. as Spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist (NTF-ELCAC) after his ‘Satan giving an apple to Eve’ remark referring to the organizers of the Maginhawa Community Pantry.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that NTF-ELCAC “should be defanged” of “irresponsible thinking officials.”
“I believe the NTF-ELCAC program is good… We should not be hasty in blaming a good program because of irresponsible statements from some officials. Replace the officials instead,” Sotto said.
“Kapag ayaw tanggalin at saksakan ng lakas sa Palasyo, then defunding is the recourse,” he added.
The Senate, however, will have no choice but to defund the NTF-Elcac if there is no clear action on the chamber’s recommendations and reminders, according to Senator Grace Poe.
“Napagsabihan na rin dati ang NTF-Elcac noong tinatalakay pa lang ang budget nila na huwag gamitin ang pondo sa red-tagging at kung ano pang malisyosong akusasyon,” Poe said.
“His sensitivities naturally lean towards the military and this presents an irreconcilable conflict,” the senator said, adding that the Senate had already recommended Parlade’s removal from his post as NTF-Elcac spokesperson.
“Kung walang malinaw na aksyon sa aming mga rekomendasyon at pati na rin sa mga paalala namin sa kanila, talagang mapipilitan nga kaming tanggalan ng pondo ang task force,” Poe said.
Earlier, Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian in a twitter conversation said the task force’s 19-billion budget should be re-allocated to Covid-19 related programs next year instead.
Sen Francis Pangilinan said that Parlade has been destroying the image of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a reputable institution.
“Kung sa ganyang baluktot na pagiisip at palakad napupunta ang P19 bilyong pisong budget ng NTF-ELCAC ay dapat bawiin na ito at ibigay sa ayuda ng mahihirap,” he said.
Instead of spending taxpayers’ money on propagating baseless accusations against charity workers, Sen Nancy Binay said that the NTF-ELCAC should be involved in useful Covid-19 programs.
“Since kinakapos nga tayo sa pandemic response, baka mas maigi from profiling, eh mag-contact tracing na lang for COVID-19 si Gen. Parlade. Mas may pakinabang s’ya dun,” she said in a statement.
Reporting by: Ghelo Javier
Source: ABS-CBN News