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Army spokesman sacked for urging lifting of truce with MILF

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - The spokesman of the Philippine Army was relieved of his post Friday, apparently over statements he made calling for the temporary suspension of a ceasefire agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

In a text message to InterAksyon.com, Col. Antonio Parlade confirmed he had been relieved but expressed no remorse for what he said in the wake of the deaths of 19 Army Special Forces troops in Basilan in a clash with MILF fighters on Tuesday.

"Yes it's confirmed, I just did my job, said what I think was right," Parlade said.

President Benigno Aquino III has rejected calls to either end peace negotiations or suspend the truce with the rebels and mount an all-out war against them.

Parlade, in a radio interview, said that in his opinion, the government should suspend the ceasefire agreement with the MILF to allow the military to pursue rebels involved in the Basilan clash.

He also criticized the MILF for the incident.

The MILF and government have accused each other of instigating the violence.

Parlade said he has no regrets in the statements he made.

"I'm happy knowing our soldiers' voice and sentiments were heard. We are not politicians. We are soldiers, professional soldiers. We are ready to take the bullet are whatever cost," he said.

Parlade will be temporarily replaced by his deputy, Major Harold Cabunoc.

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