Robredo’s 'turnaround' on NTF-Elcac's abolition is ‘worrisome’ -- Colmenares | Inquirer News
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Robredo’s ‘turnaround’ on NTF-Elcac’s abolition is ‘worrisome’ — Colmenares

/ 03:58 PM November 27, 2021
Colmenares Robredo Elcac

Neri Colmenares. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial aspirant and former Bayan Muna lawmaker Neri Colmenares on Saturday decried as “worrisome” the supposed change in the position of Vice President Leni Robredo on the abolition of the National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).

Robredo, who previously called for the abolition of the task force, is now expressing support for it, as she noted that “careless members” have put the task force in a bad light.

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“VP Leni’s seeming turnaround on her earlier call to abolish the NTF-Elcac is worrisome,” Colmenares said in a statement.

“May I respectfully point out to the Vice President that the problem with the NTF-ELCAC can not be merely attributed to its “careless members” but to a systemic policy that includes harassment and attacks against anyone perceived to be left-leaning or critical of the administration,” he added.

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Robredo, who made the statement during the security meeting given by the newly-appointed officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines added that she is “for all for the mandate and the functions” of the task force like the Barangay Development Fund, which the NTF-Elcac said is being used for development projects in villages under the influence of the communist New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Previously, the Vice President vowed to abolish the NTF-Elcac, saying the government and the CPP need to create a conducive environment for peace talks. Robredo’s allies in the Senate also slashed the NTF-Elcac’s budget to P4 billion from the initially proposed P19 billion.

The CPP and the NPA are engaged in a dragging insurgency against the government.

Colmenares meanwhile, pointed that the creation of the NTF-Elcac is not the solution to the insurgency.

“[President Rodrigo] Duterte created the NTF-Elcac precisely to expand his violent and militarist approach to the armed rebel movement, to include the entire civilian bureaucracy in the guise of a ‘whole of government’ approach, and targeting unarmed civilians by vilifying them as communist-terrorist supporters and fronts,” Colmenares said.

“Its actions exacerbate, rather than resolve, the roots of the armed conflict,” he added.

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Groups back Robredo’s plan to ditch NTF-ELCAC; task force execs scorn VP

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