NTF-ELCAC officials ‘grateful’ for Robredo’s support

Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2021 05:28 PM

Photo from Vice President Leni Robredo's Facebook page
Photo from Vice President Leni Robredo's Facebook page

MANILA -- The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday said it is grateful to Vice President Leni Robredo for supporting its efforts to bring development to former conflict-ridden communities.

Despite having been on the receiving end of "red-tagging" before, Robredo on Friday threw her support behind the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ campaign to end the 52-year insurgency problem in the country.

During a security briefing with newly appointed AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Andres Centino and other senior military officers in Camp Aguinaldo, Robredo assured them that she supports the functions of the NTF-ELCAC, which she believes is in a bad light because of past actions and statements of its members.

Robredo, who was earlier accused of being a communist by Communications Usec. Lorraine Badoy, the NTF-ELCAC's spokesperson for sectoral concerns and social media affairs, said she is not for the abolition of the task force despite her grievances against it.

“I want to address the elephant in the room kasi I’ve been quoted so many times already that I’m for the abolition of NTF-ELCAC. And I want to emphasize today that I am all for the mandate and the function of ELCAC,” Robredo had said.

“In fact, yung barangay Development Fund, I think that’s the best part of everything. Paniniwala ko, it is only through concepts like this that the problems of insurgency can be addressed upfront,” she added.

Badoy said the vice president supporting the NTF-ELCAC is "the right thing to do."

“The national task force is grateful for the support of the vice president because this is the right thing to do," she said.

Badoy also hit back at those who criticized the vice president for her statement on the country's anti-insurgency task force. 

"I hear that a lot of people are fiercely against the VP and questioning her sincerity. Labas ito sa usaping pulitika. Ang pinag-uusapan natin ngayon ay ang ating bansa, na tatapusin natin ang salot na ito at tama ang ginawa ng VP." 

“Sa ginawa ng VP sa pagsuporta niya sa NTF-ELCAC, ang ginawa niya ay pinutol niya ang linya ng mga teroristang ito sa napakamakapangyarihang opisina. Nagpapasalamat kami dito,” Badoy added during the NTF-ELCAC’s weekly virtual press conference.

Another task force official said he hopes Robredo would “translate her words into action.”

"Ma’am, ako’y naniniwala na ang mga salita, words are empty unless translated into action. Sana po hindi lang kayo namumulitika nang kaharap niyo ang mga sundalo. Let’s try to translate that into action by condemning the CPP-NPA and their atrocities laban sa mga mamamayan,” said Atty. Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokesperson for the Regional Task Force 6-ELCAC.

The task force also urged government officials, especially those running in the 2022 national elections, to make a clear stand against the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“We ask all politicians that they denounce very clearly and unequivocally the CPP-NPA-NDF kasi yan ang kalaban natin,” Badoy said.

“Hinihiling natin na para maging karapat-dapat sila na mamuno at magserbisyo sa bayan, sana alamin at bumisita nang mas madalas sa mga pamayanan natin," said NTF-ELCAC assistant spokesperson for public affairs Gaye Florendo. 

"Ang ating national leaders aspiring to be our next set of leaders, before they issue policy statements on security and development, ay talagang alam nila what is going on, ano ang problema at ano ang solusyon,” she said. 

Reacting to some reports days prior that Robredo is supposedly calling for its abolition, the NTF-ELCAC, in a Nov. 15 statement authorized by Badoy, described the vice president as "a grievous" and "treasonous traitor to her country", and "like the terrorists she dances with".

"Do not vote for this traitor. Do not vote for this ally of the terrorist CPP NPA NDF," the task force said.

Watch more on iWantTFC