Senator Joel Villanueva and two other senators expressed their disappointment on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) after the agency allegedly red-tagged community pantry organizers.
Villanueva tweeted his dismay over NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr.’s who compared a community pantry to Satan. The senator also proposed to defund NTF-ELCAC.
“Oh my! We should move to defund NTF-ELCAC in the next budget. Sayang lang pera ng taong bayan,” Villanueva said.
“Reallocate the current P19 [billion] budget for ayuda. Mas kailangan ito ng taumbayan kaysa sa mga ganitong kalokohan!” he added.
Villanueva was pertaining to the P19 billion fund for the NTF-ELCAC under the 2021 national budget. Of the amount, P16.4 billion was allocated to support barangay development programs.
Parlade told One News on Tuesday night that a community pantry is like an apple that Satan had offered to Eve.
“Si Satan, binigyan ng apple si Eve, dun lang nagsimula yun, dun lang nagsimula yun
Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian agreed to Villanueva’s tweet.
Villanueva says public ‘wasting money’ on NTF-ELCAC
“I agree bro. If these are the kind of people who will spend hard-earned taxpayer’s money, then it’s not worth it,” Gatchalian replied to Villanueva’s tweet.
On Wednesday night, Senator Nancy Binay also proposed the review of the NTF-ELCAC’s budget.
“Right now for me, budget season is coming. I will really make sure that we’ll be addressing the budget for the NTF-ELCAC. Maybe, it’s high-time that we really review their budget,” Binay said on CNN Philippines.
Organizer Ana Patricia Non temporarily closed it on Tuesday due to fears for the safety of volunteers due to red-tagging incidents.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) clarified on Tuesday that they do not have any kind of profiling conducted on the organizers of community pantries.
This was followed by reports of community pantries visited by police.
“There is no order from the National Headquarters to conduct any form of profiling of organizers of community pantries,” said Sinas.