Gag order issued vs NTF-ELCAC’s Parlade, Badoy only on community pantry issue — Esperon

Robie de Guzman   •   April 26, 2021   •   2738

MANILA, Philippines — Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. and  Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorrain Badoy will remain as spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) following the issuance of a gag order against them by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

Esperon, the task force’s vice chair, said that Parlade and Badoy have only been ordered to stop making remarks on the issue of community pantries.

He also stressed that the NTF-ELCAC is not against the spirit of Bayanihan or any community pantries that have sprouted in various areas in the country.

“Lest it be misunderstood, they will desist [from] making statements on community pantries. And NTF-ELCAC will support, observe and assist CPs (community pantries) as does the whole of government,” Esperson said in a message on Sunday.

Several lawmakers have sought Parlade’s removal from the NTF-ELCAC, and even proposed defunding the task force, over his remarks against the organizer of the Maginhawa community pantry.

Parlade earlier said that they are not profiling community pantry organizers but they are checking their background.

Parlade and Badoy also faced a backlash on social media for accusing some organizers of community pantries of using the initiative to promote their propaganda.

In reaction, Parlade said senators should not drag the whole of NTF-ELCAC into the issue if they had a problem with him.

Badoy, for her part, said that as a soldier, they will follow Esperon’s order but stressed that they will still continue performing their duties of exposing the agenda and activities of the communist rebels. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte appoints Antonio Parlade to Nat’l Security Council

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed retired military general Antonio Parlade as deputy director general of the National Security Council (NSC), Malacañang said Thursday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the president signed Parlade’s appointment on Sept. 8.

Parlade retired as head of the military’s Southern Luzon Command in July.

“Deputy Director-General Parlade faithfully served the Armed Forces of the Philippines for many years until his retirement from the service,” Roque said.

“We are therefore confident that his length of fruitful service in the military would immensely contribute in the crafting of plans and policies affecting national security,” he added.

Parlade previously served as spokesperson for the government’s Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict.

He became controversial for his remarks linking some organizers of community pantries to the communist group. Some senators even called for his resignation and proposed defunding the task force over the issue.

In a separate statement, Parlade thanked Duterte for the “renewed trust and confidence.”

“Another opportunity to continue serving our people in a different capacity. Time to take care of unfinished business,” he said.

Esperon hopes petition to Comelec vs. partylist groups resolved before 2022 polls

Maris Federez   •   August 16, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. hopes that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will resolve the two separate petitions filed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) before the 2022 National Elections.

“Since there will be a registration of parties for the coming elections, we certainly pray and are confident that the COMELEC will resolve these petitions,” Esperon said.

The NTF-ELCAC believes the two petitions they filed before Comelec is a national security issue that needs to be resolved immediately.

The government task force filed separate petitions against Gabriela Women’s Party and Kabataan Partylist groups for the cancellation of their registration in the partylist system for violating the election law and the Constitution.

According to NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Atty. Marlon Bosantog who filed the petitions, they have evidence that Kabataan Partylist is linked to CPP-NPA-NDF.

“We have a witness from the time it was created, to its constitution, to its purpose. We have witnesses that testify the recruitment of the Kabataan Partylist as a funnel of NPA fighters,” Bosantog said.

“We have testimonies to show that the current sitting representative of Kabataan Partylist personally recruited and inform them to go to the mountains and bear arms against the government,” he added.

On August 12, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon testified before Comelec 2nd Division via teleconference regarding the task force’s petition against Gabriela Partylist.

NTF-ELCAC said Gabriela is receiving financial assistance from a foreign government and from non-government organizations which violates the Constitution and Comelec rules.

“And upon further verification by AMLC, we found out that Gabriela has been receiving funds from the Belgian government as well as Belgian NGO as well as other NGO’s in Europe,” Esperon said.

However, Gabriela Partylist Representative Arlene Brosas refuted the allegations, accusing the ELCAC of spreading lies.

“Puro mga kasinungalingan. Kung anu-anong claims po ang mga sinasabi sa atin diyan sa pagkakaso sa atin sa COMELEC dahil ang gusto talaga ay hindi tayo makatakbo,” Brosas said.

Kabataan partylist group, meanwhile, has yet to comment on the issue. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Community pantries sa Metro Manila, hindi muna papayagang magbukas sa ilalim ng ECQ – Abalos

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ipagbabawal muna ang operasyon ng community pantries sa Metro Manila habang nasa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ang rehiyon.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, napagkasunduan ito ng mga alkalde sa Metro Manila upang mapigilan ang super spreader events.

“As much as possible kasi ang purpose ng ECQ ay talagang huwag lumabas ng bahay, kung magpapa-pila tayo sa labas at magbibigay tayo, baka magkagulo (ang mga tao),” ani Abalos.

Isasailalim sa ECQ ang Metro Manila simula sa Agosto 6 hanggang sa Agosto 20.

Sa panahong ito, tanging essential o mahahalagang biyahe at serbisyo lamang ang papayagan. Mas pinahaba rin ang curfew hours sa Metro Manila mula alas-8 ng gabi hanggang alas-4 ng madaling araw.

Layunin ng hakbang na mapigilan ang lalo pang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa harap na rin ng banta ng mga mas nakakahawang coronavirus variants.

Ngunit paglilinaw ni Abalos, maaari pa rin namang magsagawa ng outreach programs kung nais ng sinuman na makatulong sa mga nangangailangan ngunit dapat ay gawin ito sa mas maayos na paraan.

“Siguro kung talagang gustong tumulong, wala namang problema ro’n pero siguro gumawa tayo ng magandang sistema,” ani Abalos.

Payo ng MMDA sa mga organizer ng community pantries, makipag-ugnayan muna sa mga lokal na pamahalaan para sa gagawin nilang sistema ng distribusyon ng ayuda, gaya ng paghahatid sa bahay ng mga magiging benepisyaryo nito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

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