Lacson: ELCAC implementation politicized’

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson blames politicking as one of the main reasons for the budget cuts on the controversial National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

In an interview with Net 25 TV Radyo on Wednesday, Lacson said that the ELCAC budget should be used for livelihood development in NPA-controlled areas to encourage rebels to change their ways.

However, the lawmaker said that this doesn’t happen in all towns supposedly cleared from rebel control.

“Nahaluaan na ng politika. ‘Yung mga area na may nag-surrender na NPA pero ‘di kaalyado ng Malacañang, hindi nabibigyan ng livelihood, walang pondo. Samantalang ‘yung wala namang nagsu-surrender na NPA at dati nang hindi controlled ng NPA, ‘yun ang nabibigyan ng pondo,” said Lacson, who is the presidential standard bearer of Partido Reporma.

Earlier reports state that P19.33 billion of ELCAC’s 2021 budget was allegedly misused.

“Bakit natin ibibigay yung P28 billion na budget samantalang ‘yung from 2021 hindi pa nagagamit?,” he added.

Lacson clarified that ELCAC was created out of good intentions, but issues with its implementation need to be addressed if it were to regain full funding from the government.

“Nakapakaganda ng concept. From over 250 guerilla fronts, ngayon nasa 43 na lang. Ako man, dating nagde-defend diyan eh. Until lately, napansin na ‘yung implementation, sumama nang sumama.”