By Junex Doronio
CLARIFYING THAT THE CITY GOVERNMENT had no hand in the reported 79 villages which would get P1.58 billion anti-insurgency funds, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said it was the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) that determined the final list of barangays.
“The listing of beneficiary barangays all over the Philippines under the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict is determined and finalized by the NTF-Elcac,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The spunky mayor said Davao City government only listed 15 barangays as priority for funding in the Davao regional task force to end the local insurgency.
“The NTF-Elcac did not just list the 15 barangays but also included 68 others, which the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) assessed as ‘cleared’ of the main insurgency but were still vulnerable to communist recruitment,” Duterte-Carpio bared.
“This brings to 83 barangays in Davao City (supposedly covered by the program),” the local chief executive said.
An earlier news report said 79 villages in Davao City would get P1.58 billion, or about 10 percent, of the P16.4-billion “barangay development program” fund that the task force had proposed to be spent for 822 villages around the country that had been “cleared” of communist rebel influence.
A Cabinet-led National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) leads government efforts to combat NPA fronts while enticing guerrillas to defect through offers of amnesty and financial assistance.
It was gathered that more than 800 barangays that would get P20 million each for socioeconomic projects from the proposed P19-billion NTF-Elcac budget for 2021.
Among the 15 barangays classified by the Davao regional task force as priorities were the geographically isolated areas of Magtuod, Tapak, Colosas, Salapawan, Lumiad, Mapula, Panalum, Mabuhay, Tibuloy, Salaysay, Malamba, Guitan, Biao Joaquin, Talandang and Dominga.
Ironically, five years ago Duterte-Carpio’s father, then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte, admitted calling out “Mabuhay ang NPA” during the release of two government soldiers in the mountains of Laak, Compostela Valley.
During the presidential campaign, Duterte described himself as a socialist but not a communist, saying he abhorred armed struggle against the government. (AI/MTVN)