‘Bwisit sila,’ Dela Rosa says of politicians calling to abolish NTF-Elcac
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald Dela Rosa on Sunday expressed his annoyance at members of the opposition calling for the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), accusing them of using the issue for their political agenda.
“Sabihin ko sa kanila—ito pangit pakinggan eh—pero bwisit sila,” Dela Rosa said on DZBB when asked about those calling to just abolish the task force instead of cutting its budget.
(This is not good to say, but they are a nuisance.)
“I-abolish kung kailan naging successful ‘yung ahensya sa paglaban sa terorismo, paglaban sa insurhensya, i-abolish nila? Ano, puro pamumulitika na lang talaga ang iniisip nila? Na porke nasa oposisyon sila, gusto nila hindi maging successful itong administrasyong Duterte sa paglaban ng problema ng ating bansa, ganun na lang talaga ang utak nila? Bwisit,” Dela Rosa further said.
(They want to abolish the agency when it is successful in fighting terrorism and insurgency? Are they just thinking about politics? Just because they are in the political opposition, they do not want the Duterte administration to succeed in dealing with the problems of the country? Is their level of thinking just like that? What a nuisance.)
Dela Rosa was then asked about the argument of other politicians to just use funds of the NTF-Elcac for the COVID-19 pandemic response. This suggestion, however, did not sit well with the senator.
“Alam mo, kung gusto maraming paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan. ‘Yun na lang ang sabihin mo sa kanila,” he said.
(If you want something, there will be many ways to get it; but if you don’t want it, you will give many excuses. Tell that to them.)
While other lawmakers note that programs of the NTF-Elcac for the development of communities can instead be implemented by other national agencies, Dela Rosa pointed out that other government bodies, like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), tend to focus on projects in urban areas.
He noted that the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, were able to recruit residents in remote communities because they don’t see government projects.
“‘Yung bundok, porket kakaunti lang ang tao doon, pero doon ang breeding ground ng insurgency, hindi ‘yan papansinin ng DPWH. Paputol ako ng kuko kung papansinin nila ‘yan. ‘Yung NTF-Elcac nakita nila na ito ngayon ang approach natin,” the senator stressed.
(The DPWH does not take notice of the mountain areas just because there’s not a lot of people there. But these areas are the breeding grounds of insurgency. I will cut my fingernails if the DPWH will notice these areas. The NTF-Elcac saw this problem and took this approach to develop communities.)
Senators earlier slashed the proposed budget of NTF-Elcac from the previous P28.1 billion to just P4 billion for next year.
Dela Rosa earlier warned that the huge budget cut may appear to some as the Senate’s expression of support to the NPA.
Some of his colleagues, however, explained that the reduction was because there were questions on how the task force spends its huge budget.
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