By Billy Begas
Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero on Friday called for a congressional investigation to determine how the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is using its funds following its reported profiling of organizers of community pantries.
Romero said the investigation could be done next week.
“We want NTF-ELCAC officials to give details as to where and how the funds are being used and how their vilification tactics translate to having more communist rebels turning their backs on insurgency,” Romero said.
Should NTF-ELCAC fail to substantiate their claims and justify use of funds, Romero said Congress may realign its budget to more urgent needs.
“The bulk of NTF-ELCAC funds can be rechanneled to giving more direct financial aid to the unemployed workers displaced by the pandemic, upgrading our contact tracing abilities, or providing more hospital beds. Some may also go to the upgrading the capabilities of our armed forces and the Philippine Coast Guard to guard our maritime borders,” Romero added.
NTF-ELCAC has linked the community pantry in Maginhawa, Quezon City to the communist group.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette Uy urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a special audit on NTF-ELCAC’s funds.
“The COA special audit should cover how, where, why, and who spent the funds Congress appropriated to it in the past years of 2019 and 2020,” Uy said.
The National Privacy Commission should also check if NTF-ELCAC has been violating the privacy law, said Uy.
“Yung congressional investigation supported by the findings of COA and Privacy Commission, maaaring magbunsod sa rechanneling ng NTF-ELCAC to augment COVID-19 response of the government o pagbuwag sa NTF-ELCAC altogether, depende sa kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon,” Uy added.