Alvarez vows bigger budget for Army, police following Bohol clash
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez vowed to increase the budget for the military and police following the clash between government troops and the bandit group Abu Sayyaf in Inabanga, Bohol that started on Tuesday.
In a statement, the leader of the House of Representatives lauded the “gallant” soldiers and police officers who were killed in the line of duty to flush out the bandits from the famous island tourist destination.
The firefight in Sitio Ilaya left six suspected Abu Sayyaf members, three soldiers, and one policeman dead, and about 1,200 displaced from their homes.
Government troops have cordoned off the village since the clash started on Tuesday. It was the first known attempt for the bandit group to attack Bohol in a failed bid to carry out kidnappings.
“We salute the three gallant soldiers and a policeman who were killed in the line of duty to protect our people. As token of our collective gratitude and appreciation, we will ensure that their patriotism is duly recognized and that their families receive adequate assistance from the government,” Alvarez said.
“We will likewise make sure that justice will be served and that their loss will not be in vain,” he added.
Alvarez said he has requested the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and other law enforcement and national security agencies to list down its much needed equipment and infrastructure that would be duly funded under the 2018 budget.
Congress holds the power of the purse by deliberating on the national budget or the General Appropriations Act.
Alvarez said that as Speaker he would make sure Congress would allocate enough budget for the military and law enforcement agencies following the Bohol clash.
“For this purpose, I have requested the AFP, PNP, our Philippine Coast Guard and other law enforcement and national security agencies to determine the essential equipment and infrastructure to accomplish this all-important objective,” Alvarez said.
“As Speaker of the House, I will make sure that these will be adequately funded under the 2018 national budget,” he added.
Alvarez also vowed that the House of Representatives would do its part to boost tourism and equip the military and police to ensure the country’s safety.
“Our tourism continues to offer great potential in creating jobs and income opportunities for our people, and we must not allow the threat of terrorism and criminality to undermine its potential,” Alvarez said.
“We assure our people that the House Representatives will do all that is necessary to ensure that our military and law enforcement agencies will always be formidable, fully equipped and adequately funded to secure our shores against any and all threats, and guarantee the protection not only of our citizenry, but of our visitors as well,” he added. JE
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