Press Release
April 25, 2021

Pangilinan: Failure to discipline Parlade damaging to the entire AFP as a highly disciplined, professional institution

"The AFP top brass should censure NTF ELCAC spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade for conduct unbecoming an officer and for violating civilian supremacy over the military specified in Section 3, Article II of the Constitution which partially reads: Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.

Respect and obedience to the chain of command is a sacred and fundamental principle in the military. Despite a standing order from his superiors, Parlade's red-tagging ordinary citizens and name-calling elected officials sow division and disunity in the military hierarchy.

Ang kabastusan ng isang militar sa mga binotong kinatawan ng Pilipino ay kabastusan sa milyon-milyong karaniwang Pilipino. Walang puwang ang ganitong kabastusan sa isang institusyong kilala sa pagpapatupad ng disiplina at propesyunalismo. Maling halimbawa ang pinapakita niya.

Aside from tarnishing the image of the AFP as an institution that adheres to the strictest tenets of discipline and professionalism, Parlade's misconduct conveys to junior military officers the message that a subordinate senior military officer can disregard the basic law of the land, ignore the AFP chief of staff's order and operate outside the chain of command, and get away with it.

If the AFP can discipline intel chief Major General Alex Luna and remove him as intel chief for the red-tagging of UP alumni in January this year, why can't it discipline Parlade? This AFP inaction may be misconstrued as the AFP playing favorites and that some are more favored than others. Again, this sows disunity within the ranks. Why punish Luna and allow Parlade to go scot-free? Is Parlade untouchable?

I also support the call of fellow senators to review the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict budget and realign it for cash aid. Its P19-billion budget for 2021 may be used to provide financial assistance of P5,000 per household to 3.8 million poor households. Our calculations also show that NTF ELCAC's P19-billion budget could increase the P1,000 financial assistance per individual provided to 22.9 million residents of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite by 80 percent or almost double."

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