Lacson: Police general instructing ‘census’ in barangays using anti-insurgency funds
MANILA, Philippines — A police general is allegedly using a portion of the anti-insurgency budget to instruct the listing of names among barangay residents, Senator Panfilo Lacson said, adding that it raises suspicion that such funds are possibly being used for election purposes.
Lacson on Thursday said he received reports that the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) share of P800 million under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) fund as a member agency is being used to conduct a “census” of 30 percent of a barangay’s population.
“We received reports, at least sa PNP, merong nagiikot heneral…Yung kanilang P800 plus million, part of that allegedly is being used to give instructions to their chiefs of police na magkaroon ng parang census among residents in a barangay. A certain number,” Lacson, a former PNP chief, said in an interview on ANC.
(We received reports, at least in the PNP, there is a general making rounds…Their P800 plus million, part of that is allegedly being used to give instructions to their chiefs of police for a conduct of census among residents in a barangay. A certain number.)
“Ang gusto nila, 30 percent ng barangay residents ay mag-register to give their names, their contact number saka yung kanilang addresses. So for what reason? Medyo suspicious ‘yon, mukhang pang-eleksyon ito,” he added.
(They want 30 percent of the barangay residents to register, give their names, their contact number and addresses. So, for what reason? It’s a bit suspicious, it seems like this is for the elections.)
Lacson, who chairs the Senate defense panel and is tasked to defend the budget of the security sector, said this alleged use of funding should be scrutinized.
“We have to look into that because that’s outside the authorized utilization of the NTF-Elcac funds kasi ito pang development ito [because these funds are for development],” he said.
The NTF-Elcac has an allocated funding of P16.4 billion for its barangay development program for 2021.
Under the program, some 800 “freed” barangays are given P20 million each to fund various community development programs.
“That’s the essence behind the NTF-Elcac fund, but if it is being misused for another purpose, mukhang kailangang reviewhin natin,” Lacson went on.
(That’s the essence behind the NTF-Elcac fund, but if it is being misused for another purpose, it seems that we need to review this.)
Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, warned that the P40-billion proposed 2022 budget for the NTF-Elcac may be used as an “election giveaway.”
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