Press Release
April 27, 2021

Dela Rosa: Reds will benefit if NTF-ELCAC is defunded

SENATOR Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Monday has warned that it's the communist -terrorists who will stand to gain if the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) will be defunded.

Dela Rosa aired the warning as he rejected the call for a zero-budget for NTF-ELCAC next year and its current funds reallocated for other purposes.

"So, hindi ako sang-ayon doon na i-defund ang (NTF-)ELCAC dahil kung gagawin natin 'yun, alam mo kung sino makikinabang d'yan? Ang CPP-NPA-NDF," he said referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front.

Malacañang has said earlier that a bigger portion of the P19-billion budget this year of the NTF-ELCAC amounting to P16.4-billion is being utilized to fund for development projects in barangays already cleared of insurgencies.

"Sasabihin ng mga taumbayan doon na nakatira sa mga cleared barangays na naghihintay, nag-aabang na dumating yung kanilang mga barangay development programs, sabihin nila 'itong gobyerno na ito walang isang salita. Mabuti pa bumalik na lang tayo sa NPA.' So, sino makikinabang? Yung NPA, 'di ba?" the Mindanaoan senator explained.

The call to defund the NTF-ELCAC has been triggered by the alleged red-tagging of community pantry organizers, specifically Patricia Non, who organized the first pantry in Maginhawa, Quezon City, by task force spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade. However, the military official reportedly explained that what they did was only a background check on community pantry organizers.

"Hindi po tama. Para sa akin ay wrong move 'yun (defunding)...dahil dapat i-separate natin 'yung personality ni Parlade bilang isang anti-communist at 'yung National Task Force-ELCAC bilang isang ahensya ng gobyerno na very effective in gaining grounds against the CPP-NPA-NDF," Dela Rosa, a staunch defender of the state against insurgency, said in an interview with DWIZ.

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