Vice President Leni Robredo recently clarified her position about NTF-ELCAC.
LENI ROBREDO — The presidential aspirant and incumbent Vice President clarified her position about National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
According to her, while she supported the mandate of the government’s counter-insurgency task force, certain members of the body put it in a bad light.
The Vice President was briefed about the anti-insurgency campaign of the military — geared at providing a “whole-of-nation approach” towards social progress and economic development to the countryside — during a security meeting given by the newly-appointed officials of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines).
In that meet, the Vice President claimed that while she initially supported the abolishment of the NTF-ELCAC, she remained supportive of the body’s mandate — including the Barangay Development Fund project.
Robredo was quoted as saying in a statement sent by the OVP (Office of the Vice President) that she wanted to “address the elephant in the room” and also emphasized that she’s all for the mandate and the functions of NTF-ELCAC.
“I think that’s the best part of everything. Paniniwala ko, talagang it is only through concepts like this that the problems of insurgency can be addressed upfront,” Robredo said.
According to the Vice President, the government’s counter-insurgency task force had been cast in a bad light because of the “careless statements of some of the members” who had been accused of red-tagging a range of individuals from activists to celebrities.
Robredo, however, noted that most members of the task force were really working to address the root cause of the communist armed struggle.
Her statement slightly differed from her previous position made last November 9, in a forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Makati, that she believed the NTF-ELCAC should be abolished as the task force had been used to abuse and harass people.
Robredo even likened NTF-ELCAC to the Duterte administration’s “Oplan Tokhang”, the anti-drug campaign that’s being criticized for alleged human rights abuses.
Newly appointed AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Andres Centino, vice chief of staff Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria, deputy chief of staff Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan, and the military’s joint staff were among the officials present during the meeting with the Vice President at the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
“[This visit] is really to thank you and congratulate you for a job well done… You have really been rendering the Filipino people with the service we all deserve,” Robredo said. “And that’s basically the main idea, [which is] really to work with the local government units to do projects that will address not just the social injustices but the inequality that has been happening.”