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Solon: Parlade’s ‘errant actions’ should not affect agency’s successful program

By Neil Arwin Mercado / Philippine Daily Inquirer

Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez. Image from her Facebook

MANILA – “We have to be able to distinguish the two issues separately.”

Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez had this to say Wednesday as she reiterated her support towards the funding for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) even amid red-tagging controversies surrounding one of its spokespersons, Antonio Parlade Jr.

“It is best to remain steadfast and firm about where our priorities lie. My support for the continued funding and operations of the NTF-Elcac does not equate to my support of an outcome that left out any accountability on Gen. Parlade’s part,” Torres-Gomez said in a statement.

“We have to be able to distinguish the two issues separately. It still does not make sense to sacrifice a successful program, one that brings us closer to national peace, just to rectify the errant actions of its spokesperson.

Torres-Gomez earlier argued that suggestions to defund the NTF-Elcac is not the right action and answer to complaints of red-tagging.

According to Torres, critics of the anti-communist task force must remember that the country is “in the same boat” during the COVID-19 pandemic — and that cutting off funding to NTF-Elcac would cripple the government’s anti-insurgency drive.

Parlade has been criticized after being linked to various red-tagging controversies, most recent of which involving community pantries in the country.

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