By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

“Bakit naman NTF-ELCAC pa ang panggagalingan?”

This was how National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. reacted to several officials’ proposal to use funds from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for the social amelioration program (SAP).

“We have been hearing statements from lawmakers, especially senior senators, that always urge or recommend that the NTF-ELCAC funds must be used for the social amelioration program,” Esperon said.

“Bakit naman NTF-ELCAC pa ang panggagalingan? Kasi parang they make it appear that the NTF-ELCAC is so insensitive and irrelevant in addressing the effects of the pandemic especially to those who are in need of Social Amelioration Program or ayuda,” he added.

Esperon, also the task force’s vice chairman, called the proposal “irrational” and a way to “entice voters” because the 2022 National Elections are only months away.

Earlier, Vice President Leni Robredo urged to realign NTF-ELCAC’s budget to give way for those SAP recipients residing in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

However, Esperon defended the task force, saying that government officials must not politicize NTF-ELCAC and its programs to solve the 53-year communist problem in the country.

“Let us not equate BDP as equivalent to abandoning the victims of COVID-19,” Esperon said.

Report source: Manila Bulletin