Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Published by Bayan Metro Manila

Cancel the budget of redtaggers and instead allocate it to social services. In the wake of the destructive impact of typhoon Rolly in Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions, a portion of the funds should be immediately realigned to boost relief efforts, rehabilitate damaged infrastructures, and revive local livelihoods.

Giving P19 billion to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is unwise given its penchant for using public resources for unnecessary expenditures like the printing of anti-communist tarpaulins. Its P16 billion budget for the so-called Barangay Development Program has been rightly criticized as a pork-barrel scheme that can be used to curry political favors and patronage ahead of the 2022 elections.

Instead of enabling the work of redtaggers, lawmakers should divert government resources to programs that will uplift the conditions of the poor. What is urgent today is to extend aid to residents displaced by typhoon Rolly. The recovery efforts are expected to last for months that will require massive financial support. It is more rational to spend money on projects that will directly benefit the people than bankroll the anti-communist crusade of the NTF-ELCAC, which only creates more division in society aside from undermining the rights of many citizens.

Our people need a government that will work hard to eliminate poverty, injustice, and environment disasters and not a costly bloated agency that pursues a brutal witch hunt in barangays.

We maintain that addressing the roots of the armed conflict is the right way to ending the communist rebellion.

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