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PNP ready for probe into ‘misuse’ of NTLF-ELCAC funds

August 10, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 503 views

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar assured the public they are ready for any investigation into the allegation of its supposed misuse of NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) funds for ‘census purposes’ connected to the May 2022 presidential and national elections.

He gave the assurance after former PNP chief and now Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson said he could not just disregard reports on the alleged misuse of funds through the alleged conduct of a census.

“Your Philippine National Police, as a member of the NTF-ELCAC, has been doing its share in ending the more than 50 years of unnecessary armed conflict with the CPP-NPA-NDF. Marami nang buhay ng Pilipino ang nawala at napakalaki na ng epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya, kabilang ang maayos na buhay sana ng ating mga kababayan sa mga kanayunan,” Gen. Eleazar said.

“Sa gitna ng akusasyon ng hindi tamang paggamit ng pondo, bukas ang financial records ng inyong PNP at handa rin kami sa anumang pagsisiyasat dahil sa bandang huli, may pananagutan kami hindi lamang sa COA kung hindi pati na rin sa Kongreso na naglaan ng pondo at nagbigay ng kapangyarihan upang magpatupad ng aming mga programa at pati na rin sa taumbayan na nagma-may-ari ng pondong ito,” he added.

Senator Lacson on Sunday demanded that the PNP Director for Police-Community Relations, Major Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia explain why he asked PNP officials to gather the personal data of at least 30 percent of residents of barangays in several parts of the country.

Sermonia denied the charges regarding the ‘barangay census’ made by Lacson saying they are going around the country to entice more people into joining the government in its ‘whole-of-nation’ approach to put an end to the more than five decades old communist insurgency.

The official also maintained that the organization of so-called ‘Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Group and Force Multipliers are not solely and exclusively a decision or project of the PNP-DPCR but rather a PNP command program aligned with pertinent legal orders starting from the Office of the President down to the Department of Interior and Local Govenrment.

He explained: “The lists of membership and the corresponding directories are essential and basic organizational profile for every organization, and having membership lists and attending directories for them, are not unique to the PNP alone as such fundamental organizational practice is universal to all organizations, be it private and corporate in nature, or imbued with public interest objectives.”

The PNP-DPCR maintained that consolidating membership lists and directories are ‘essential process’ for strengthening dynamic organizational interactions among the multi-sectoral advocacy support groups and force multipliers helping the police force.

“Purposely, such process is a of great importance for countering also all threat groups that attempt or operate to undermine public safety, promote and conduct terrorism and criminality to the detriment of law and order in our society, and communities,” Sermonia added.

For his part, Gen. Eleazar said they have been very active in pursuing non-military solutions in addressing communist insurgency problems in the countryside. Part of them is reaching out to the communities classified as under the influence of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army.

In coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, hundreds of NPA fighters and supporters have already surrendered and were given opportunity to rebuild their lives as a result of the NTF-ELCAC program, he explained.

Gen. Eleazar said the PNP would coordinate with Sen. Lacson’s office to discuss the matter and present to the veteran lawmaker the anti-communist insurgency projects of the police.

“Patuloy kaming makikipagtulungan at makikipag-ugnayan sa opisina ni Senator Lacson hinggil sa mga natatanggap niyang report sa umano’y pagsasagawa ng census. Bukas din kami na ilatag ang aming mga programa sa ilalim ng NTF-ELCAC at kung paano ginagamit ang pondo dahil gusto naming ipakita na walang tinatago ang kapulisan,” the PNP chief said..

However, he maintained that the allegations won’t prevent the PNP from continuing what it started to pursue the vision of ending communist insurgency.

“This will not stop us from pursuing programs and projects, particularly the non-military solutions, that we found to be effective in preventing more recruitments and in encouraging the CPP-NPA-NDF’s active fighters and supporters to surrender,” Gen. Eleazar said.