By Reynard Magtoto
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana should explain where the Department of National Defense (DND) budget goes according to National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel in response to the defense secretary’s allegation Thursday the NPA collects P1.2 billion in “revolutionary taxes” in Eastern Mindanao alone.
In Kodao report, NDFP chief negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said that the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) budgets only go to corruption and used to kill civilians while all taxes collected by the NPA are spent for services to the people and the communities .
Lorenzana alleged Thursday at a forum in Makati City the NPA rakes in at least a billion pesos in so-called extortion activities in Eastern Mindanao that affects the course of doing business.
“The amount of money that the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) and the NPA are collecting from Eastern Mindanao alone is P1.2 billion a year,” Lorenzana told the Management Association of the Philippines.
“Without confirming his allegation, what is Lorenzana complaining about? What about the P137.2B 2017 budget of the DND, where did the monies go? To line the pockets of the generals, military commanders and senior officials of the DND and AFP and towards the acquisition of military equipment used to kill civilians, bombard communities, destroying crops and houses and laying waste to Marawi, close schools and day care centers in Lumad communities, threaten and harass the people, etc?” Agcaoili asked.
“Yet, the AFP is unable to perform its principal duty of protecting and defending the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines against foreign aggression in the West Philippine Sea, including the Tubbataha reef,” Agcaoili added.
War expenses in Marawi
Meanwhile, Lorenzana admitted the Philippine government already spent three billion pesos in solving crisis against Maute terrorist group in Marawi City since May 23.
Check other war expenses in Mindanao below:
‘Source of corruption’
AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año even announced a P100,000 bounty for the capture or killing of every Islamic militant and New People’s Army (NPA) members.
Monetary reward is a desperate ploy and source of corruption in the AFP and PNP according to NPA-Far South Mindanao-Valentin Palamine Command.
“Putting up a PhP100,000.00 monetary reward for every NPA member killed or captured by state forces is a terribly desperate measure of the AFP. The fascist AFP is insisting the policy as an ostensive recourse in covering-up their frustrated campaigns against the revolutionary movement,” said Dencio Madrigal, Valentin Palamine Command spokesperson.
“Allowing this means legitimizing bribery in the armed forced and bolstering the culture of corruption inside the AFP and PNP. On the whole, this will be a huge money-spinning scheme for the corrupt AFP and PNP officials while the rank and file squaddies will be impelled to carry out criminalities for the reward,” Madrigal said.
“Since the time of (the late dictator Ferdinand) Marcos, the AFP has not gone back to the barracks, unable to accept the most basic of democratic principles – civilian supremacy over the military – and always threatening coups once the soldiers don’t get their way and terrorizing the people with guns and equipments that are paid for the taxpayers,” Agcaoili said. (BaretangBikolnon.com / Infographics of Altermidya)