Esperon: Execs pointing to NTF Elcac as COVID fund source politicking
By Frances Mangosing / Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA — National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Monday (Aug. 9) blasted calls by Vice President Leni Robredo and some lawmakers to use counterinsurgency task force funds for COVID-19 pandemic response.
Esperon, who also chairs the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), said these calls by some officials were “irrational” and “self-serving political statements” that he said were just attempts to earn brownie points among voters.
“Why should the source of funds be NTF-Elcac?,” Esperon said. “They make it appear that the NTF-Elcac is so insensitive and irrelevant in addressing the effects of the pandemic especially to those in need of social amelioration program or ayuda,” he said at an online press briefing.
Last week, Robredo suggested that portion of counterinsurgency funds be set aside to help people who would lose income during the Aug. 6 to Aug. 20 enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.
“Fighting COVID is not the only threat or concern that why our government is addressing COVID by providing emergency support to vulnerable groups,” said Esperon.
“It looks like that the statements are so irrational and not backed up by realities on the ground and those are being said only to become closer to voters,” said the top military general of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.