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40 percent NTF-ELCAC budget cut bodes dark to victory vs rebels

Describing it as a victory for communist rebels, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) chided the Bicameral Conference Committee (Bicam) for slashing by 40 percent the Task Force’s proposed 2022 budget of P28.1 billion to just P17.1 billion, which would seriously undermine government’s efforts to provide essential services to 1,406 poorest barangays throughout the Philippines.

NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson for Sectoral Concerns Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy described the budget cut “as a grievous and merciless attack of the rich and powerful against the helpless, impoverished and vulnerable sectors of our country.”
“Imbes na sana ay buhusan ng pondo at subukang punuan ang kakulangan na nagdulot ng malaking kapahamakan sa kanila—dekada na ang nagdaan—walang awa at walang kahihiyang tinapyasan at tinawaran ng mga pinakamakapangyarihan at pinakamayayaman sa atin ang mga walang-wala sa atin,” she lamented.

She added that only the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and their front organizations would benefit from the extreme budget cut. “Sa pagtapyas ng budget ng Bicam, iisa lang ang sumaya at nanalo dito at ito ang mga berdugong nagdulot ng hirap at pighati sa nagdaang 52 years: ang komunistang teroristang CPP-NPA-NDF. Dapat magpasalamat ang mga berdugong ito sa mga Senador at Kongresistang nagbigay sa kanila ng panibagong lakas habang nagbigay ng malaking lungkot at pangamba sa pinakamahihirap sa atin,” she claimed in Filipino.

She claimed she was also appalled and ashamed of the Bicameral Committee’s arrogance to shrug off and reject the request of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to restore the P28.1-billion NTF-ELCAC proposed budget, adding that they were also apathetic to the petitions and clamor of governors, mayors and local leaders not to defund the NTF-ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program (BDP).
“Ikinibit-balikat nila ang paghingi sa kanila ng ating Pangulo na ibalik sa 28 billion ang natapyasang pondo. At Imbes na dinggin nila ang pagsusumamo ng mga local chief executives na iisa ang ang mensahe na huwag tapyasan ang pondo na ito na magbibigay ng farm-to-market roads, health centers, eskwelahan, nagbingi-bingihan ang Bicameral Committee na halos kalahati ang tinanggal sa budget ng NTF ELCAC,” she said.

The actions of the Bicameral Committee are a clear manifestation that they are not true public servants but bullies who deny our helpless kababayans of the government services they needed and truly deserve, Badoy added. “Maliwanag lamang na ipinakita ng mga ito na hindi sila tutoong lingkod-bayan at nakalimutan na nila na hindi nila pera ang pondo na yon kundi pera ng Bayan at ang serbisyo na ipinagkakait nila ay hindi tulong kundi OBLIGASYON ng gobyerno sa ating mamamayan- lalong lalo na ang hindi pa nakaranas ng kalinga ng gobyerno matagal na panahon na ang nagdaan.”

Badoy explained that the CPP-NPA-NDF’s 52-year reign of terror is the result of past administration’s inability to serve properly and lack of political will, adding that the local communist armed conflict is not a military problem but a crisis caused by incompetence and poor governance that the NTF-ELCAC is fixing through the BDP.

Badoy continued, “tumagal ang salot na ito ng ganito katagal hindi lamang dahil sa CPP-NPA-NDF, kundi dahil sa mga politiko na nakikuntsyaba sa kanila. Maliwanag na ipinakita ng mga huwad na lingkod bayan na hindi pwedeng ipagkatiwala sa kanila ang bayan natin.”

“Election backlash?”

Badoy appealed “to all good-hearted Filipinos to give our poor and almost forgotten kababayans a better and more peaceful life by not voting the legislators who denied them access to the most basic services and necessary infrastructures.” “Nabigyan na tayo ng direksyon ng ating Pangulo, palitan na natin ang mga yan sa darating na halalan. Napapanahon nang maturuan ng leksyon ang mga aroganteng nakalimot na ang kapangyarihang hawak nila ay galing sa taongbayan na taongbayan din ang syang babawi,” she stressed.

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