MANILA – Less than a month to retirement, Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., on Thursday confirmed that he has already tendered his resignation as one of the spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) but said he will continue defending the country against the threats posed by communist terrorist groups.
"I have submitted my letter of resignation addressed to the President almost a month ago. I want to ease the pressure on the NTF ELCAC principals who are being questioned by legislators for designating me as spokesman despite my being in the active service. There are so many legal bases justifying my role in NTF ELCAC as constitutional but I will not belabor myself with those," he said in a statement.
Parlade said he is happy with the development that the NTF ELCAC now has civilian NTF spokespersons who shall carry on the fight passionately and with conviction.
However, despite his resignation as NTF ELCAC spokesperson and pending retirement from the military service on July 26, Parlade said he will continue to defend the country against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and its allied organizations.
"Even then, I want to assure our critics and naysayers that I am not running away from this fight. As a citizen of this country it behooves me to continue with my patriotic duty to defend our country and end the 52 years onslaught of the CPP-NPA terrorists, whatever legal way I can," he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
"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. “Ngayon pa na patapos na sila? (Not now when their end is so near).”
Parlade is known for his being vocal and his tough stance against the CPP-NPA and its allies.
The outgoing Solcom chief, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1987, is scheduled to retire on July 26 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
He will be replaced by 2nd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, a Medal of Valor awardee, and a member of PMA Class of 1988. (PNA)