Spealer Lord Allan Velasco on Tuesday defended the progressive Makabayan bloc over the issue of red-tagging of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.
In a statement, he warned Parlade against red-tagging the members of the House of Representatives, saying the act “endangers the lives of these duly-elected officials.”
“General Parlade should be more circumspect and cautious in issuing statements against House members whose lives he may place at great risk and danger sans strong evidence,” Velasco said.
“These lawmakers are duly elected representatives of the people, and implicating them on issues that have yet to be substantiated is uncalled for.”
Parlade is the commander of the Southern Luzon Command and spokesman of the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that is accused of red-tagging activists and government dissenters, including showbiz personalities.
Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano earlier called on the House leadership to defend the Makabayan bloc from Parlade’s terrorist tagging.
Velasco said as Speaker, it was his mandate to “protect” members of the chamber from “careless accusations” that put them in danger.
“As Speaker of the House, I am duty-bound to protect them from potential harm due to these careless accusations so that they may carry their legal and constitutional mandate as members of Congress,” he said.
“If he has evidence, gather them and go to court and not to the media.”
Meanwhile, Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago on Tuesday urged the Commission on Higher Education to stop the NTF-ELCAC from “infiltrating” universities and giving lectures with “libelous content.”
She claimed receiving reports that NTF-ELCAC had “lectures that have successfully infiltrated the National Service Training Program.