Press Release
August 28, 2021

Dela Rosa supports continued funding for NTF-ELCAC budget, cites personal experience in the winning fight against insurgency

?SENATOR Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, citing personal experience, has thumbed down the calls of some legislators not to provide appropriations for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) next year.

Dela Rosa said he is supporting the continued funding for the NTF-ELCAC budget as newly-promoted Lieutenant General Andres Centino, commander of the Philippine Army, said the root cause of communist insurgency will not be addressed if the NTF-ELCAC will be defunded since the implementation of the government's development projects in rural communities will be stopped,"thereby, perhaps, the problem will continue to exist."

Centino gave the possible scenario last Wednesday during the public hearing of the National Defense Committee of the Commission on Appointments (CA) on his nomination to the rank of Lieutenant General, together with the nomination to higher ranks also of 2 other generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The appointment of the three generals to higher positions, which was supported by Dela Rosa, was confirmed by the CA during the plenary session after the hearing.

"Maganda talaga ang ginawa ng gobyerno ngayon. That's based on my personal experience. So, I really support the funding of (NFT)-ELCAC," Dela Rosa said during the hearing.

?The Mindanaoan senator said that previously, the military was having a hard time penetrating the mountains in the Davao region because they were infested by the New People's Army (NPA) rebels.

"Ngayon pinapasok na namin anywhere, nagmo-motorsiklo lang kami. Nagte-trail riding kami anywhere dito sa lahat ng bundok ng Compostela Valley Province, 'yung Davao Occidental, 'yung boundary ng Bukidnon at ng Davao City. Magtatanong ka doon sa mga tao doon... kung may mga NPA pa ba dito. Sabi nila, 'sir, nagsipaglayasan na sir dahil natatakot sa (NTF-) ELCAC,'" Dela Rosa said.

In previous interviews, Dela Rosa had said that defunding the NTF-ELCAC would be a wrong move since it has been gaining ground in the 50-year fight against the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front.

He had said earlier that the deliberation in the Senate on the proposed budget for next year of the task force could be "bloody" as he vowed to fight for its approval.

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