The Duterte administration’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which have long been called to be abolished and defunded, has P33.4 million worth of unliquidated funds according to the Commission on Audit (COA).
In its 2021 audit report on the Office of the President, the state auditors said that of the P52.9 million transferred to the National Security Council (NSC) – the National Secretariat of NTF-ELCAC – only P19.5 million was liquidated as of December 31, 2021, leaving an unliquidated balance of P33.4
“As of December 31, 2021, the unliquidated balance of the fund amounted to P33,445,805.43," the state audit body said in its report.
According to the report, NTF-ELCAC’s unliquidated funds covered its P18.4 million and P15 million fund transfer to NSC in April 2021 and October 2021, respectively.
The state auditors also noted that the President’s office allocated P65.1 million for the task force but transferred only ₱52.9 million to the NSC.
The NTF-ELCAC received such funding allotment to implement the government’s “whole-of-nation approach” in ending insurgency, amid the health crisis experienced by the country.
However, former national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Tuesday (July 19) said that all of the controversial task force’s fund for 2021 have been liquidated.
“We have liquidated all 2021 OP funds for NTF-ELCAC,” Esperon said.
Earlier, senators lobbied to defund NTF-ELCAC for baselessly red-tagging of certain individuals and organizations. Loren Badoy, its former spokesperson have also faced charges due to being a serial red-tagger.
Despite this, former President Duterte still pushed for the continuation of the task force under the Marcos administration.
Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.
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