MANILA— Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday alleged that anti-insurgency funds were being "misused" by some members of the Philippine National Police.
Lacson said he has received reports that a certain "general" was alleged giving instructions to chiefs of police to ask "30 percent" of barangay residents to give them their names, contact numbers, and addresses for a "census."
"We received reports, at least sa PNP, merong nag-iikot na heneral... 'Yung kanila kasi P800 million ‘yung sa kanila and part of that, allegedly, is being used to give instruction to their chiefs of police na magkaroon ng parang census among residents ng barangay,” the former national police chief told ANC's Headstart.
(We received reports that a certain general was going around...They have some P800 million and part of that, allegedly, is being used to give instruction to their chiefs of police to conduct some sort of census among barangay residents.)
"For what reason? Medyo suspicious 'yun and we have to look into that because that's outside of authorized utilization of the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) funds kasi ito pang-development ito."
(It's suspicious and we have to look into that because that's outside of authorized utilization of the NTF-ELCAC funds, this is supposed to be for development.)
He added, "If it is being misused for another purpose mukhang kailangan reviewhin natin."
The NTF-ELCAC was allotted some P16 billion this year and is asking for P40 billion in next year's budget, according to the senator, who is vying for presidency in the 2022 polls.
When asked if he regrets defending the budget, he said, "Yes and no."
"We have to really scrutinize. Kasi ang nangyari this year...si Secretary (Hermogenes) Esperon called on us, ang tinanong lang namin itemized ba 'yan," he said.
(What happened this year was Secretary Esperon called on us, we just asked him if the budget was itemized.)
The anti-insurgency body had faced a Senate inquiry for wrongfully linking celebrities, lawmakers and other personalities to the communist movement.