Ex-PNP chief Eleazar opposes NTF-Elcac abolition
MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial aspirant and former Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar is against the abolition of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).
In an interview with ANC’s Headstart on Tuesday, Eleazar was asked if he would vote to abolish the NTF-Elcac if he wins a Senate seat.
“No. Para sa akin, i-improve ‘yung accountability, ‘yung monitoring ng mga proyekto pero the essence alone tignan mo naman, end the local communist armed conflict ‘di ba? So, from that alone, hindi ba napakaganda? Tapusin na itong limang dekadang problema natin,” he responded.
(No. For me, improving accountability, the monitoring of the projects but the essence alone, look at it, end the local communist armed conflict, right? So, from that alone, isn’t it good? End our five-decade problem.)
For the general, the NTF-Elcac’s Barangay Development Program is the solution to the country’s five-decade insurgency.
Based on the NTF-Elcac’s website, the Barangay Development Program was formed with a goal of “bringing development to former conflict ridden communities.”
“Through these efforts ng barangay development program, then we can see na ito ang solusyon natin na once and for all matapos na itong five decades ng ating problema at eventually, hindi na mabigyan ng pondo para do’n dahil naresolve na itong problema natin na tayo na lang ata sa Asia or even sa buong mundo ang mayroong ganitong problem,” Eleazar explained.
(Through these efforts of the barangay development program, we can see that this is the solution for our five-decade problem. Eventually, they would not be given any funds because the problem is already solved. It seems that it is only us in Asia or even the whole world who have this problem.)
Critics have earlier called to abolish the NTF-Elcac over its red-tagging activities.
A Senate panel has likewise slashed the NTF-Elcac’s budget to only P4 billion from its proposed budget of P28 billion.
One reason for the budget cut was the task force’s failure to submit a report on its P19 billion appropriation for 2021.
Despite this concern, Eleazar said that the anti-insurgency program should still push through.
“May pondo man, malaki man ang pondong binibigay diyan, pero kung ma-attain naman ‘yung objective diyan, napakaganda para matapos na ‘yan,” he pointed out.
(They have a fund, a big fund may be given to them, but if they could attain the objective, it is good to end the insurgency.)
“So, ang sa akin lang is magandang ituloy pero itong mga pondong binibigay ay talagang dapat na transparent. And I can see that ang naging concern lang naman ng ating mga mambabatas during this budget deliberation is ‘yung maayos na programa at accounting nito,” he said.
(For me, pushing with the task force is good but the funds should be transparent. And I can see, the lawmakers’ concern during this budget deliberation is its programs and proper accounting.)
Senate documents also showed that the NTF-Elcac only completed 26 out of its 2,318 projects under the Barangay Development Fund.
Earlier, presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson regretted supporting the budget of NTF-Elcac, saying the task force is playing favoritism in funds distribution.
Eleazar is running under the slate of Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III who are running for the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.