MANILA – Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.’s commitment to end the decades-long problem of insurgency in the country is unquestionable, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.
Lacson said Parlade had informed him of his resignation as one of the spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) more than a month ago when the latter paid him a courtesy visit.
“I thanked and commended him even as that resignation was still subject to the approval of higher authorities,” he said in a statement. “There is no question about his passion to do his role in ending the longest-running insurgency in Asia, and I still believe that the NTF-ELCAC is a long overdue solution to the water lily tactical maneuvers being employed by the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army) to maintain their influence over previously cleared barangays.”
Lacson also agreed that “without infrastructure, livelihood, and social development interventions by the national government after all successful counter-insurgency operations by our security forces in clearing those barangays of the NPA presence, it can only result in a Sisyphus-like situation with no clear solution in sight.”
The Albay-born Parlade, who is set to retire next month, said he submitted his letter of resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte a month ago as he wanted to ease the pressure on the NTF-ELCAC principals who are being questioned by legislators for designating him as spokesperson despite his still being in active service as chief of the Southern Luzon Command.
“I am happy that there are now six more civilian NTF spokespersons who shall carry on the fight passionately and with conviction. Retirement does not mean the end of my advocacy. In fact, this is a new beginning, sans the prohibitions imposed on public servants. You will be hearing more of citizen Antonio Parlade Jr.,” he said. (PNA)
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