Farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) expressed dismay with the latest statement of Vice President Leni Robredo that she supports the mandate and functions of the notorious National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Robredo even registered full backing to the Duterte government’s counterinsurgency campaign in a meeting with AFP Generals.
“If VP Robredo would also talk to marginalized sectors, then she would have a deeper grasp on the roots of the armed conflict and possibly a genuine stance in pursuing a just and lasting peace in our country,” according to Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.
“If she would give us a chance, we will let her hear the harrowing stories of the victims of NTF-ELCAC, Duterte’s whole-of-the-nation approach, and AFP’s militarization. Sana makausap rin ng Bise Presidente ang mga anak at magulang na naulila dahil sa EJK, ang mga kaanak ng mga ibinilanggo na walang sala at ang mga magsasakang biktima ng umiiral na Martial Law sa kanayunan,” Ramos added as he noted that 344 farmers were killed under the Duterte administration.
“Buwagin pa rin ang NTF-ELCAC. Mas malakas at mas mariin naming ipapanawagan ang pagbubuwag sa ahensiyang ito na pahirap lang sa mamamayan,” says KMP chairman emeritus and Anakpawis Chairperson Rafael Mariano.
“We are disappointed, but we are not surprised with Robredo’s ‘dangerous dalliance’ with the AFP. She is trying hard to court support from the military hierarchy that she even clarified her earlier statements regarding the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC,” Ramos said.
After a meeting with AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Andres Centino, Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, and Deputy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Erick Kagaoan, Robredo was all praises for the NTF-ELCAC and the Barangay Development Program which budget got slashed by the Senate.
KMP said the BDP and the E-CLIP programs of the NTF-ELCAC are resulting in massive and force and fake surrenders of farmers in provinces. ###