By: Krixia Subingsubing, Nestor Corrales – Philippine Daily Inquirer / April 26, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Saying that a gag order is not enough, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas wants Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. and Lorraine Badoy, undersecretary for communications, both spokespersons of the government’s anti-communist task force, dismissed from their posts
Brosas said on Sunday that Parlade and Badoy should be immediately relieved from their posts and barred from holding any public office as they are “a serious threat to the public.”
“Badoy and Parlade have always been and will always be a danger to the public. Many ordinary people have become their victims and their lives were put in danger because of the endless Red-tagging and harassment against them,” Brosas said in a statement.
She renewed her call for the government to abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) and divert its P19-billion fund for cash aid to poor families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Use P19B as cash aid
Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite also said the gag order on Parlade and Badoy was “just damage control, too late, too soft.”
“Their Red-tagging days must be put to an end. Rechannel the P19-billion funds of the NTF-Elcac to cash aid for the poor,” Gaite said on Twitter.
Fellow Bayan Muna lawmaker, Rep. Carlos Zarate, agreed with Brosas that Parlade and Badoy “should be booted out for their reckless, dangerous, [and] warped statements.”
Parlade and Badoy had earlier linked organizers and volunteers of the community pantries in the country to communist rebels.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who also chairs the NTF-Elcac, has issued a gag order on Parlade and Badoy following their controversial and reckless comments against organizers of community pantries.
Lawmakers have threatened to defund the NTF-Elcac and sought an audit of its funds following Parlade’s and Badoy’s Red-tagging gaffe, which led to the closure of some community pantries due to safety concerns for some organizers.
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday also called out the “misplaced, irresponsible” Red-tagging of community pantry volunteers, particularly 26-year-old Ana Patricia Non, who was accused by the task force of being a member of an underground organization.
In her weekly radio show, Robredo said the government should instead be thankful to Non, whose humble pantry in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City where people lined up for food aid quickly snowballed into hundreds of pantries across the country—a symbol for mutual aid.
“The pantries are a big help because these ensure that communities are able to eat at least once a day,” Robredo said. “But it’s being vilified by many, for which I don’t understand.”
In particular, she called out Parlade and Badoy, for “wasting their time” trying to demonize a grassroots movement.