Gutoc hits AFP, PNP intelligence ops in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines – The spate of explosions in Mindanao has placed the soundness of intelligence operations of government forces in question, senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc said on Wednesday.
Gutoc stressed that the attacks occurred despite substantial intelligence funds for both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“These explosions put to question the efficacy of our military and policemen’s intelligence work and investigation. In 2018 the AFP had P2.9 billion in intelligence funds, while the PNP had P1.06 billion,” she said in a statement.
“This year they are asking for P1.2 billion for the AFP and P1 billion for the PNP,” she added.
She also emphasized that the three recent bombings in Lanao del Norte towns just before the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite should have been prevented since there are public funds to utilize.
“Ano ang nangyari sa perang ito ng taumbayan? Bakit patuloy pa rin ang mga pag-atake? Mamamayan na naman natin ang nadadala sa alanganin habang may sapat na pondo naman ang mga otoridad at mayroon pang martial law sa Mindanao,” Gutoc, a former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, noted.
(What happened to taxpayers’ money? Why are the attacks continuing? The people are compromised, even if authorities have ample funds, plus the fact that martial law is still in effect in Mindanao.)
“Huwag sana hayaan na may masaktan o mamatay na naman bago ito masolusyunan,” she said.
(Let us not allow another casualty before a solution is found.)
On January 27, two bomb blasts devastated the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, killing 22 people and injuring at least 96 others.
The attack was attributed to the Ajang-Ajang faction of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group.
A day later, suspected communist rebels set off a landmine near a police checkpoint in Magpet, North Cotabato, leading to the death of a police officer manning the area.
In Zamboanga City, a hand grenade was lobbed inside a mosque which resulted in the death of two persons.
Gutoc called on authorities to fulfil their duty of safeguarding the people of Mindanao.
“Thousands of uniformed personnel are being deployed now to plebiscite areas and they are expected to put the people’s safety as their priority. Please, deliver this mandate,” Gutoc said. /gsg
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