NTF-ELCAC spokesman Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. has apologized to Sen. Panfilo Lacson for “misunderstanding” the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
Lacson told Senate media in an interview Wednesday that he received a message from Parlade as relayed via text message by another officer.
“Sorry again,” Lacson recalled the message from Parlade.
“Nagpasabi siya, may kaunting sorry… Nag-text ang officer na kakilala ko, pinapaabot ni Lt. Gen. Parlade,” he added.
On Tuesday, Lacson advised Parlade to practice “a little prudence and self-discipline” after Parlade found himself in controversy anew.
Lacson said that while Parlade seems dedicated to his mission of ending the 50-year-old communist insurgency, he may be over-analyzing and over-talking.
“Lt. Gen. Parlade strikes me as one AFP officer who is dedicated to the accomplishment of his mission to end the half-century-old insurgency problem. That being said, his only fault is that he over-analyzes and over-talks, with some of his public statements threatening to affect his mission,” Lacson, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1971 and who chairs the Senate defense committee, said in a statement.
He was referring to Parlade’s reported recent remarks, including his claim that some personalities are under surveillance by the NTF-ELCAC, where Parlade is a spokesman.
Also, Parlade had been accused of red-tagging and harassing personalities including celebrities for alleged ties to suspected legal fronts of the New People’s Army.
Lacson pointed out that under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, only the court can proscribe a group like the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.
On the other hand, he said the purpose of surveillance work is defeated when the subject becomes aware that he is being tailed.
In Wednesday’s interview, Lacson also said he remembered Parlade reaching out to him the first time after his confirmation, apologizing for his wrong interpretation of the anti-terror law.
“Sinabi niya na mali nga ang interpretation niya and he was trying to rectify. Ewan ko bakit eto na naman tayo,” he said.