Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the decision of the NTF-ELCAC to keep Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade as spokesman would "cost" the anti-insurgency super body.
Lacson, who had criticized Parlade for red-tagging women celebrities and journalists, commented on the NTF-ELCAC's decision to retain Parlade in a text message to reporters: "All I can say is, they made their choice, and it will cost them."
The NTF-ELCAC or National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts also expanded its pool of spokespersons to eight, with Parlade still included, despite the call of senators to remove him.
Article XVI, Section 5 of the Constitution states that no active member of the armed forces may be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the government.
The senators’ call was included in the approved committee report sponsored by Lacson in the chamber’s plenary. Lacson said he had been a strong supporter of the annual budget of the NTF-ELCAC and their most reliable ally in the Senate --- "until now."
"That said, there's no point discussing, much less arguing with people who refuse to listen to reason and adhere to the rule of law," he said.
"The Senate as an institution has made our collective and legal position on the issue of Parlade's appointment in a civilian position which the Constitution clearly proscribes," he added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III described the NTF-ELCAC's recent move as "a subtle way of easing out personalities without hurting their egos."
Apart from Parlade, forming part of the expanded pool of NTF-ELCAC spokesperson are Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.