NPA earlier slammed the program as ‘a waste of time and money’
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In response to the NPA Apolinario Gatmaitan Command calling the Negros Occidental provincial government’s proposed P87 million anti-insurgency fund “a waste of time and money,” provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, called on the insurgency group to respect the decision made by the Provincial Peace and Order Council.
In a radio interview yesterday morning, the provincial official denied claims made by the NPA and said several government agencies are involved with the council and assured the budget will be used for projects that will benefit everyone.
Diaz also denied claims the money would be used to “militarize” services of local government units and said it will fund livelihood and financial assistance for NPA insurgents who leave the rebel group.
Meanwhile, he expressed hope that Negros Occidental residents recognize the council’s seriousness in achieving lasting peace in the province.
Last Monday, NPA-Negros spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua claimed the fund is a method for government, police, and military officials to steal, noting, the P33.5 million allocated by the Office of the Governor has no clear plan on where it would be spent. Additionally, he also criticized the P41.1 million intelligence fund, which he claimed did not undergo a proper auditing process.
The NPA official said, “[The] ‘counter-insurgency’ program is only being used to ‘militarize’ services of local government units.”
He went on to say the funding is being weaponized to destroy their revolutionary movement, which he claims will sow more fear among the public and result in more human rights abuses./DGB, WDJ