(UPDATE) A retired general who was accused of red-tagging journalists and celebrities while acting as spokesperson for the government's anti-communist body has filed his candidacy for president, Comelec said Monday.
Antonio Parlade is running as a substitute for a certain Antonio Valdes under the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP).
"This has never been my plan. But as I see it, with this political development, with this political circus, I do not see any future for our country kung palagi lang tayong ganito," he told the media.
Should he win as president, he said he would uphold the fight against insurgents.
When asked why he aligned himself with KDP, he answered, "I cannot align with Sen. Bong Go. I'm sorry, pero isa siya sa problema ng bayan natin. I don't want to elaborate on that."
"Wala akong rift kay Sen. Bong Go, I just don't like the way he does things, including controlling the decision of the president."
When asked how Go allegedly controls the president, he said "ang dami" without expounding.
"I don't need the blessing of the president. My line is clear, my direction is clear, I am to protect the institution, the Office of the President should be protected."
As spokesman of the NTF-ELCAC, Parlade made headlines for linking celebrities like Liza Soberano, Angel Locsin, and Catriona Gray to the communist rebellion. He was later summoned to the Senate and the body's budget for 2022 was cut.
Parlade also led the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command in Lucena City, the region being one of the hotbeds of the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
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