Esperon gags anti-communist task force spokespersons

Community pantry along Matatag St., Quezon City (File)
Community pantry along Matatag St., Quezon City (File)

LIEUTENANT General Antonio Parade Jr. and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, spokespersons of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), have been ordered to stop making any statements on community pantries.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., vice chairman of the task force, said Sunday, April 25, 2021, that he issued the gag order to emphasize that NTF-Elcac is not against community pantries.

He also said neither Parlade nor Badoy are against these.

“As commander of Solcom (Southern Luzon Command) covering three regions, Lt. Gen. Parlade does a lot of bringing basic services to disadvantaged or calamity-stricken barangays and residents therefore with no personal agenda but to help , and achieve his mandates and missions for AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and therefore for NTF-Elcac where AFP is a member,” Esperon said in a message to reporters.

“USec Badoy, who is a medical doctor by profession, is also a bayanihan enthusiast... Lest it be misunderstood, they will desist making statements on community pantries,” Esperon added.

He said the anti-urgency council will support, observe and assist community pantries.

Parlade and Badoy have linked community pantries and their organizers to the communist movement.

Several lawmakers, reacting to these false allegations, called to defund the NTF-Elcac and realign its P19.4- billion allocation under the 2021 budget to the social amelioration program.

Community pantries, initiated by Ana Patricia Non, emerged in Metro Manila and in several areas outside the capital to help families in need amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. (SunStar Philippines)


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