Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. (File photo)
MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command chief, Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., on Monday, rejected calls made by a group seeking to establish a revolutionary government, saying there is no need for such.
“I am not very familiar with that group, but I don’t believe in a revolutionary government. We have existing mechanisms. We have a Constitution that is very robust,” Parlade told members of a panel of the Commission on Appointments (CA) during a confirmation hearing when asked by Senator Risa Hontiveros about his stand on the matter.
The group that the AFP official was referring to is the so-called Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), which launched on Saturday a movement calling for a revolutionary government to fast-track Constitutional reforms.
The group appealed to Duterte to head the revolutionary government that will supposedly last until December 2021, subsequent to the holding of elections under a newly-amended Constitution.
Parlade noted that there “maybe” is a need for reforms, as there are provisions in the Constitution that are “probably already obsolete”, but maintained that constitutional reforms could be done through legislation.
“I guess this group is only dissatisfied with the slow pace that we are dealing with these reforms because of some constitutional constraints. I still believe that we need to support reforms in the government, and this can be done through legislation,” he told the CA panel.
When asked further how the AFP would respond if a revolutionary government is established, Parlade, who was the highest-ranking military officer during the confirmation hearing, stressed that the AFP will abide by the Constitution.
“I believe that we have to go back to the Constitution and determine whether these actions are allowed by the Constitution. Our actions should all be limited to what is allowed in that Constitution,” Parlade said.
Hontiveros lauded Parlade for his response.
“I am glad the government dismissed this call, and that our Armed Forces have expressed that it stands by the Constitution,’’ Hontiveros said. (PNA)