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Esperon urges stakeholders to report misuse of NTF-ELCAC's funds

By Joahna Lei Casilao / GMA News

Amid criticisms over the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts’ (NTF-ELCAC) P19 billion fund, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Saturday urged concerned stakeholders to report incidents of misuse, abuse of authority, and malversation to the appropriate authorities.

In a statement, Esperon said that though it may be easy to assume inappropriate misuse of the agency's funds for its Barangay Development Program, allegations require a comprehensive investigation.

“It is fairly easy to make speculations thus far on misuse of the BDP funds, but to substantiate allegations is a matter that requires comprehensive investigations altogether,” he said.

“Nevertheless, I implore all the concerned stakeholders and the general public to understand the import of what the NTF-ELCAC and the BDP seek to accomplish,” he added.

The official issued the remark amid criticism from the public over the NTF-ELCAC’s P19 billion budget after one of its social media pages linked the community pantry initiative to the communist movement.

The NTF-ELCAC spokesperson also later likened Maginhawa community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non's efforts to Satan deceiving Eve.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he will ask the upper house’s leadership to compel the NTF-ELCAC to submit its quarterly report on the P19 billion anti-insurgency fund under the 2021 national budget.

“I note that these voices come from a place of deep concern over the utilization of its funds under the GAA,” said Esperon.

“Allow me to reassure the public that the package of programs under the BDP are released following the stringent evaluation of the government agencies concerned. The following update might be of interest to many,” he added.

Esperon had previously said that the NTF-ELCAC did not hold the funds for the barangay development program as they would be released directly to the local governments. (DVM, GMA News)



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