PNP feels Senate cut task force budget because it was proving effective
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos expressed belief that the Senate cut the budget of the National Task Force (NTF) to End the Local Armed Conflict (ELCAC) because of its success in addressing the insurgency in the country.
"Well number one the very reason that they are hitting the funds is because its working. The AFP, the PNP and the other government agencies working together to end this local communist armed conflict. We are reaching already the far flung barangays together with the other government agencies so we're establishing presence where the AFP use to go," Carlos said in a television interview on Sunday night.
"Now the AFP can move to other areas, go to the guerilla fronts. Right now, we can bring training, we can (provide) government services and the PNP is always there to provide the services to the community. So I think that's the very reason they're hitting the budget because they know, you know this administration is very successful in the program," he said.
"On our part we just do our job. We keep on doing our job for this administration and we hope that the people see that. The people see that the police go to, in the different community, they are the one who appreciate what we do in ELCAC," he added.
Carlos said the government was able to do developments in the areas affected by the armed conflict because of the programs under the NTF-ELCAC.
"There are 12 clusters. We are together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when it comes to the law and order cluster, were together with the PCOO and other government agencies in providing the right information to the Filipino people not just in the center but also in the countryside so were able to do all of this because of the NTF-ELCAC," he said.
"So I believe that the program is working and slowly we're going with the armed forces in countering this armed rebels the New People's Army... We have a lot of surrenderees now. We have so many rebel returnees now that we are taking care of them now that they are back in the government in the folds of the government its really working," he added.
AFP chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino also explained that "the funds for the NTF-ELCAC are actually the barangay development program fund".
"The AFP sent out teams to find out the problems within these affected areas and we see (are) interventions needed. That's why we proposed interventions in terms of development projects for instance, farm to market roads, irrigation system, daycare center, school buildings. So these are development projects," he said.
"In every affected barangays, we have allocated actually 20 million (pesos) per affected barangay. We see needed interventions to address that root causes of insurgency it is not for the operations of the AFP and PNP," he added. Robina Asido/DMS