Trillanes wants ‘Tokhang’ budget realigned to military intel fund
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV wants a portion of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s P900 million fund for its anti-drug campaign “Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded” realigned to the intelligence fund of the military considering the situation in Marawi City.
The senator called it a “misplaced priority” for the government to increase the PNP’s budget to P500 million for its anti-drug drive while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will only get around P200 million increase to fund its intelligence.
“Mataas ‘yung increase ng intelligence fund ng PNP habang mas malaki ang problema ng giyera sa Mindanao so ’yon ang kailangan nating i-realign para mag reflect sa priority ng ating gobyerno,” Trillanes said on Thursday.
(The increase of the intelligence fund of the PNP is very high while the problem of the war in Mindanao is bigger, so that’s where we need to realign the funds in order to reflect the priority of our government.)
The senator, a former soldier, made this motion during the Senate’s finance committee hearing on the Department of National Defense (DND)’s budget for 2018.
“In light of the situation sa Marawi, palagay ko ito ang mas mabigat na problema at lalaki pa ito and you know that. In our perspective, parang mas binibigyan ng importansya itong Tokhang na may P500 million intelligence funds, tapos itong AFP P220 million lang ang increase,” Trillanes said, addressing Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana.
(In light of the situation sa Marawi, I think this is a bigger problem and it will only get bigger and you know that. In our perspective, it’s as if the Tokhang operations are given more importance which has P500 million intelligence funds, while AFP only had a P220 million increase.)
Trillanes noticed that the DND only sought for P225 million additional intelligence fund for next year’s budget. He suggested that the budget for the PNP and AFP should be “maximized.”
“In comparison, ang PNP, P500 million ang increase, and for sure mapupunta sa (it will go to) Tokhang, and we wouldn’t want that,” he said.
But he clarified that the realigning of PNP’s funds does not necessarily cost P500 million, only a portion of it.
“Pag-uusapan ng mga senador ’yon but definitely babawasan natin ‘yon at ililipat natin sa AFP,” Trillanes said.
(The senators will discuss it, but definitely we will reduce that and transfer it to the AFP.)
He said “a lot” of his colleagues are open to the proposal.
Lorenzana, in a separate ambush interview, said the DND has accepted the approved budget for the DND and they “can live with it already.”
Asked to comment about the plan to realign police’s fund to the military, he said: “Hindi namin hinihingi ‘yon but tatanggapin namin kung magbibigay sila (We’re not asking for it but we will accept it if they give it).” /je
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