Press Release
September 20, 2022

TRANSCRIPT - Sen Bato Dela Rosa during the Committee on National Defense hearing on SBN 200 - NTF-ELCAC Institutionalization


Sec. Carlos: Thank you very much, Your Honors, I have been requested to make some remarks in regard to Senate Bill No. 200, in regard to institutionalizing the task force NTF-ELCAC. Let me preface my comments by quoting our president who in every cabinet meeting talks about the need to restructurer bureaucracy and may be a little bit of commercial, I wrote a book on bureaucratic reform and, therefore, I'm very, very cognizant of the duplication, the overlaps and the unclear lines of democracy among our government agencies. What this results in would be, not only a contest [39;31] of jurisdiction but also a tremendous waste of government resources, both human as well as non-human resources. Given these prefatory remarks, I believe that this is not in order to institutionalize the NTF-ELCAC to a council. What we are doing here, what is being suggested here is for a task force to have substantive legal personality so it becomes a council. And therefore, it will have a life of its own and will continue to address something which I think is time bound. The great success, I am by the way the vice chair of this task force, the chairman is the President of the republic, and our indicator of the greatest success of the NTF-ELCAC is that it would be rendered obsolescent because that means you would have embedded all the functions of the task force into the existing agencies of the government. In other words, all the agencies of the government would have embraced the kinds of activities, projects and programs that the NTF-ELCAC is helping them, helping embed in their own institution. So given this, how would you call this,assumptive framework, I would argue that let the NTF-ELCAC continue with its mandate, continue with the legal personality rendered by Executive Order 70. But giving it a certain level of permanency into a council may not be in order. Thank you.

Sen. Jinggoy: Can't it pursue its mandate if we institutionalize it, Secretary?

Sec. Carlos: Well right now, actually, if you look at the Senate Bill proposed by Sen. Dela Rosa, it practically just echoed the NTF-ELCAC mandate. What is different here is that as a task force, a task force has time 1 which is the start and time sub n [41:54] meaning we don't know, time 2, times of 2 etc. when it will end, and it will end where the reason of its being has already ended. And so we assume, therefore, that the end for which a task force was organized would end some time at time sub n, we don't know that n, so we say time sub n. Therefore, to institutionalize it, might not be in order anymore because by that time, you would have embedded all the functions of the task force in the existing agencies already. So, to repeat because Sen. Dela Rosa was not here when I made my prefatory remarks, this would be in line with the general guidance of the President which he repeats every cabinet meeting that we should restructure our government bureaucracy for a leaner and meaner bureaucracy. Thank you.

Sen. Dela Rosa: Yeah, Mr, Chair. Can I react?

Sen. Jinggoy: Sen, Dela Rosa. Please.

Sen. Dela Rosa: Yes, Ma'am, first of all, Mr. Chair, as far as the lifespan of the council is concerned, you have here Section 12, Sunset Clause, The Council shall be rendered functus officio upon the accomplishment of the purposes for which it was created or unless sooner dissolved by the President. Kaya 'yung life ng task force as said by Sec. Carlos na anytime pwede itong ma-dissolve, the same is true with this council because nakalagay naman dito pagka wala nang problema sa insurgency, then, hindi na kailangan itong council na ito so i-dissolve natin. Ang purpose lang naman nito that's why I would like to institutionalize the task force, para sigurado talaga na ang focus ay andiyan. Alam mo, Ma'am, without, wala pa 'yung task force noon, look, saan tayo napunta sa problema natin sa insurgency? Fifty years, more than 50 years, andiyan pa rin ang problema. Pero 'yung ginawa 'yung EO 70, ang laking pagbabago. Ang laking nawala sa problema natin. So,kaya gusto kong i-institutionalize ito for purposes of continuity para sigurado talaga na tuloy-tuloy ito dahil nga kung hindi natin ito i-institutionalize, magbago man 'yung isip ng presidente, hindi natin siya pangunahan ah, pero magbago man 'yung, mag-shift na 'yung policy niya na mawalan siya ng gana dito sa insurgency na ito eh pwede niya i-defunct 'yung task force. Pero 'pag ito'y i-institutionalize na, Mr. Chairman, eh andiyan na 'yan, may batas na through legislation. Hindi na basta-bastayan ii-snob-in 'yan ng pangulo dahil andiyan na, may batas na tayo. So I think, 'yun lang naman ang habol ko diyan.

Pero, anyway, hindi naman kami ang makipagpatayan diyan, makipaglaban diyan sa NPA na 'yan. Kayo namang nasa executive then bahala kayo. Kung ayaw ninyo, then wala akong magawa. Kami, gusto lang talaga naming tulungan kayo because I've been there, I have fought these communists for a long time, I have lost a lot of my men in my war and my battles against NPA kaya alam ko kung gaano kahirap itong problema na ito. Nakita ko itong glimmer of hope nang ginawa itong task force na ito, itong ELCAC na ito, nakita ko napakaganda pala nito. Ito na ang hinihintay namin noon na sabi nga nu'ng teniyente pa kami, "What kind of war is this? Tayo lang pinabayaan ng gobyerno makipaggiyera, makipagpatayan sa mga NPA, samantalang itong DSWD, itong DOH, itong DPWH, even the National Security establishments, walang pakialam because they're sitting inside their chair, inside their office, nagpapalamig lang sa opisina. Kami do'n sa field, kami ang nakipagpatayan. Kami ang nasasaktan, kami ang nahihirapan.

Kaya nga ngayong senador na ako, I want to give back what is due to the people na mga namatay, na binuwis 'yung buhay dito sa problema ng insurgency. Gusto ko silang tulungan na mawala na talaga ito just to honor them. Kung ayaw niyo sa executive ng aming proposal then what can we do? You will be the one implementing this law. Kung gagawin namin ito, pagdating do'n sa Malacanang, sabihin ni National Security Adviser, "Mr. President, i-veto mo 'yang batas ni Bato na 'yan. Wala 'yan. Hindi namin suportahan 'yan." So wala rin. Sayang din. Akin lang naman is we are here to help you solve the insurgency problem. That's all, Ma'am. 'Yun lang po. Salamat.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada: Thank you, Sen. Dela Rosa. Your comment, Secretary.

Sec. Carlos: Yes, thank you very much, Sen. Dela Rosa. You have made very compelling arguments why it should be made into a council. And because I'm a scholar, I'm willing to change my mind. I forgot there is a Sunset Clause there, yes. It would render itself obsolescent when the reason for its being would have been obliterated. So I'm willing to change my mind for the record. I'm now withdrawing what I earlier articulated. Thank you, my dear friend, Sen. Padilla. Yes, because that's what scholarship is all about. When you are confronted with compelling arguments, change your mind. Otherwise, you are a bigot. Thank you.


Sen. Dela Rosa: Yeah, thank you, Mr. Chair. 'Yung sinabi ni Sir na 'pag nakita mo na 'yung isang party to the negotiation is, yun nga, the political party has no control over the armed components which is sinasabi mo, it's not ripe for negotiation dahil hindi favorable ang situation for negotiation. Pero merong catch diyan eh. Do not be fooled by these people. Baka sinasabi lang nila 'yan, pinapalabas lang nila 'yan na wala silang control over their military components pero ang totoo niyan, they are very good in deception. Sabi ng party, "O, let's talk. Let's talk." Pero iba 'yung kaharap niya 'yung GRP, iba 'yung instructions niya armed component niya. Alam mo this insurgency problem will not be here for long for this longest period of time kung hindi deceptive itong mga CPP-NPA na ito. Dahil kung talagang totoo sila, they are true to their desire to make peace with everyone, tapos na itong problema. Wala na itong problema. For what? Anong ginagawa nila kapag nagpi-peace talk tayo? Habang nagpi-peace talk tayo they are there consolidating their people, regrouping, rearming themselves, at recruitment dahil libreng libre silang pumasok sa mga barangay dahil wala, hindi sila hinuhuli dahil meron tayong peace talk so libreng-libre sila. Alam mo enough if this, for me ah, for me, sorry kung kayo sa academics community ay, would tend to disagree with me, but enough for this peace talks for me. Niloloko lang tayo nitong mga tao na ito. Ilang taon na tayong nakikipag-usap, walang nangyayari dahil tayo lang ang sinsero, sila hindi sinsero. Anong ginagawa nila habang nagpi-peace talk? Ayon, nangangampus. [1:07:26] Let's face it. 'Yan ang nangyayari. Kaya't 'wag na 'wag na tayong magpaloko. Ngayon pa na halos lumuluhod na 'yung mga CPP-NPA na ngayon dahil sa nangyayari diyan sa ELCAC? Ngayon pa tayo makipag-negotiate sa kanila? No. It's not the right time. And sabi mo, ripe for negotiation kapag the balance of power is like this, nandito tayo, sila nasa baba? No. It's not ripe. Ang sabi ko diyan, ano bang after ripe phase, after ripening phase? 'Yung nalata na ba sa Bisaya. 'Yung bulok na. So it's bulok time for us to negotiate with them. Let's finish them. Yeah. Sabihin mo, magalit na kayo nang magalit, basta ako let's finish the problem dahil 'pag hindi natin 'to seryosohin, as I've said, ako nag-retire ako sa serbisyo with all the scars in my body, with all the death that I have seen. Hintayin ko pa 'yung anak ko ngayon na kaga-graduate lang sa academy will experience the same problem that I have faced when I was young, when I was lieutenant hanggang nag-retire ako? The same problem? 'Yung anak ko gano'n din ang mangyari sa kanya? Siguro wala tayong maibigay na magandang kinabukasan sa mga bata na ito kapag hindi natin tapusin itong problema na ito. 'Yun lang, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Dela Rosa: Mr. Chair. Alam mo, 'pag na-institutionalize natin itong localized peace talks, sigurado ako number one, pinakaayaw niyan, si Joma. Magwawala 'yon. 'Wag kayong mag-enter into local peace talks. Pero itong mga tao nila na matagal nang naghirap, 'yung palaging naha-harass, naa-attack ng Army, ng pulis, sigurado ako makipag-enter ng negotiation 'yan dahil pagod na 'yan sila. Actually, wala na ngang i-negotiate ngayon, punta ka doon sa, 'yung pinaka Malacanang ng NPA du'n sa Davao De Oro, 'yung Compostela Valley province, sinong representative ng Army dito? Meron pa bang guerilla front doon? Wala na. Wala ka nang ma-negotiation, sabi nga sa akin, "Sir apat na lang, 'yung nasa Davao Oriental, apat na lang na NPA 'yan na hinahabol namin." Apat na lang 'yan eh bakit ka pa makipag-localized peace talk diyan? Wala nang peace talk, peace talk! Kwan na, 'yung stalk stalk na lang. Apat na lang eh. Habulin ninyo. Habulin niyo na 'yung apat. Tapusin ninyo. Wala nang peace talk! Localized or nationalized or international peace talk, wala 'yan. Nag-e-enjoy lang sila doon, nagkape-kape doon sa mga hotel sa Netherlands para gagastos ng pera ang gobyerno. Eh tapusin na 'yan. Kokonti na lang. As I have said, I'm serious. Nasa dulo na tayo. Dulo na tayo ng labanan. Patapos na ito. 'Pag matapos natin ito, Philippines will become a very beautiful country. 'Pag mawala ang problema sa insurgency, I tell you, napakaganda ng Pilipinas. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Sen. Jinggoy: Thank you. So ibig sabihin, kaya natin 'to?

Sen. Dela Rosa: Kaya natin 'to.


Sen. Dela Rosa: Mr. Chairman, just to be clear about it. Hindi naman ang gobyerno ang nag-red tag nitong mga tao na ito. It is Joma Sison, nagsabi sa... Very clear sa kanyang video. Itong National Democratic Front, itong CPP, itong NPA, itong tatlo na ito ay kailangan ito para magkakaisa para pabagsakin ang gobyerno. So ngayon, kasama itong tatlo na ito, siya mismo nag-red-tag ng partylist ng Kabataan, partylist ng Gabriela, partylist ng Anakbayan, si Joma Sison mismo nagsabi. So ang military establishment naman, sinundan lang 'yung linya ni Joma Sison. So paano ngayon kung sasabihin natin na counterproductive itong red-tagging, they term it red-tagging ha, para sa akin, that's truth-tagging. Walang... It's not false, it's truth na talagang nakalinya sila sa NPA, CPP-NPA. You may call me as a judgemental or what but time will be at my side when I say this, na sila ay naka-connect doon sa CPP-NPA-NDF, konektado 'yan sila lahat. Alam mo kung, 'yung red-tagging, panahon na ito ng, "Saan ka ba, pula o puti ka?" Magsabi ka, kasi kung sabihin mong gray ka, that's... Hindi 'yan maganda. Hindi maganda 'pag gray ka. Kalaban ka ba o kakampi ka? 'Yun lang 'yon. 'Pag mawala 'yung gray area na 'yan, tapos ang problema ng Pilipinas. Tapos ang problema dahil pinabayaan natin lumaki 'yung gray area na 'yan in between black and white, lumaki 'yung gray area kaya in-exploit ng husto ng kalaban itong gray area na ito kaya for me ha, for me, once you support the CPP-NPA, once you espouse lahat-lahat nang kagustuhan nila, you are a supporter of the CPP-NPA but I am not telling you that you are an illegal personality. I respect your belief, but then again, as far as the political spectrum is concerned, magkaiba tayo ng dulo ng spectrum so I consider you as kabila ka. Kasi kung pabayaan natin 'tong puro lang sa gray area, walang mangyayari itong problema natin. Walang katapusan. Again, I respect your position pero sabi ni Joma Sison, siya mismo nag-red-tag nitong mga supposed to be legal front ng NPA, legal kuno pero very supportive sa cause ng kabila, ng kalaban. 'Yun lang, Mr. Chairman.



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