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Makabayan Bloc nagpasalamat kay Velasco

LUBOS ang pasasalamat ni Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Rep. France Castro kay Speaker Lord Allan Velasco sa pagtatanggol at pagbibigay nito ng proteksyon sa Makabayan Bloc laban sa red-tagging at surveillance ng militar na inamin ni Armed Forces of the Philippines-Southern Luzon Command Chief Lt General Antonio Parlade.

Inamin ni Castro na hindi nila inasahan ang ginawang pagtanggol ng liderato ng Kamara de Representantes sa Makabayan Bloc at ngayon lamang siya nakarinig ng ganitong malasakit sa isang Speaker lalo’t walang basehan ang akusasyon na miyembro sila ng Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“Lubos naming pinasasalamatan si Speaker Velasco. Yung ginagawa niyang pagtatanggol sa kanyang mga kasamahan lalo na sya ay Speaker, ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng Speaker na ganto,” pahayag ni Castro.

Bukod kay Castro, kabilang sa mga kasapi ng Makabayan Bloc sina Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat at Ferdinand Gaite, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, at Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago.

Naunang sinabi ni Parlade na tagapagsalita din ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) na under surveillance ang mga kasapi ng Makabayan Bloc at maging si dating Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares dahil sa pagiging “card bearing” members ng CPP.

Sinabi ni Parlade na galing umano ang impormasyon laban sa mga progresibong kongresista sa mismong mga dating kasapi ng CPP na nagbalik-loob na sa pamahalaan.

Ang Makabayan Bloc ay kilalang kiritiko ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

Sa isang talumpati noong 2016 sa harap ng 1st Infantry Division sa Labangan, Zamboaga del Sur, naunang sinabi ni Pangulong Duterte na ilang party-list na mambabatas sa Kamara de Representantes ang may kaugnayan sa CPP at nagpopondo sa armed wing nito na New Peoples Army(NPA).

Nanindigan si Velasco na obligasyon niya bilang lider ng Kamara de Representantes na protaktahan ang mga miyembro laban sa ginagawang red-tagging ni Parlade.

“As Speaker of the House, I am duty bound to protect them from potential harm due to these careless accusations,” ani Velasco na nagsabing dapat maging maingat si Parlade sa mga akusasyon laban sa mga kasapi ng Kamara de Representantes.

“We may not agree with them on certain issues but be mindful that these lawmakers are duly elected representatives of the people, and implicating them on issues that have yet to be substantiated is uncalled for,” dagdag pa ni Velasco.

Sinabi ni Castro na mali ang ginagawa ng Duterte security forces na tawaging kaanib ng teroristang grupo ang lahat ng mga dumedepensa sa makakaliwang grupo at tumututol sa mga polisiyang ginagawa ng administrasyong Duterte.

“Kahit paano we feel protected and assured kami sa pahayag ni Speaker, pero sIyempre ingat pa rin kami sa aming kaligtasan, aware na kami sa aming security,” pagtatapos pa ni Castro.

PONDO NG NTF-ELCAC ILAGAY SA EDUKASYON

Sinabi naman ni Elago na dapat ilaan ang P19 bilyong pondo ng NTF-ELCAC sa edukasyon at sa mga nasalanta ni Rolly.

“Matagal nang ipinapanawagan ng mga kabataan ang paglalaan ng pondo ng NTF-ELCAC sa mas mahalagang dapat paglaanan ng pondo ngayong pandemya at sakuna. Nararapat na ilaan na lamang ang P19 bilyon ng NTF-ELCAC para dagdagan ang budget sa mga ospital, serbisyong medikal at pondo para sa gadgets at ayuda sa mga estudyante at guro. Dapat din itong ilaan para sa mga nasalanta ng Bagyong Rolly. Ito ang mas dapat laanan ng pondo at iprayoritisa kesa ilagay sa NTF-ELCAC na walang ginawa kundi mag-red-tag at akusahan ang mga progresibong grupo at kritikal sa gobyerno bilang komunista,” ani Elago.

ESPERON CHALLENGED TO GO TO CONGRESS WEBSITE TO MONITOR BAYAN MUNA’S ACTS

“[National Security Adviser retired] Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, magpunta po kayo sa congress.gov.ph andun po lahat nung mga ‘acts’ na pinagbubuhusan ng oras ng Bayan Muna. Mababasa niyo po dyan ang mga ‘acts’ tulad ng House Bill 3381 o An Act Strengthening Worker’s Right to Security of Tenure, House Bill 224 o An Act Providing Free Health Services to All Filipinos, House Bill 241 o An Act Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Citizens, at marami pang ibang ‘acts,” ani Gaite.

“Personally, I am an author to more than 400 House Bills addressing important issues ranging from bus drivers’ security of tenure to genuine land reform, from ensuring fair electricity bills to including comprehensive renal care in Philhealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) packages. Gen. Esperon could take time to sit down with his surveillance agents and read through all those bills, but I doubt they would find any one of those bills inimical to our national security,” dagdag Gaite.

Iginiit naman ni Zarate, House Deputy Minority Leader, na dapat maisulong ang “defunding the red-tagging and fake news spreading about the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and realigning its budget for the relief operations to the Typhoon ravaged communities would be very welcome indeed.”

“If we are to take the P19.1 billion being asked for by the NTF-ELCAC and use it to make relief packs, we can have at least 38.2 million packs for the more than 2 million people affected by Super Typhoon Rolly and even that of Typhoon Quinta,” ani Zarate.

SALCEDA IGINIIT NA DAPAT MANATILI PONDO NG NTF-ELCAC AT MAGAMIT SA MGA NASALANTA NG BAGYONG ROLLY

Kaugnay nito, sinabi ni Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman ng House committee on ways and means, na maihahalintulad sa Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) na dapat panatilihin sa 2021 national budget ang P16 bilyong proyekto sa ilalim ng NTF-ELCAC.

Kung sakaling mayroong galawan, sinabi ni Salceda na dapat dalhin ito sa mga lugar na grabeng nasalanta ng bagyong Rolly.

“Perhaps with some adjustment towards areas hard-hit by recent natural calamities,” ani Salceda. “The label can mislead one into thinking that this is a direct national security budget, when the items are actually for countryside development. The idea is that when you build roads in the countryside, you are creating opportunities for economic development, and minimizing the incentives for joining armed conflict.”

“Of course, I appreciate the concern for the Bicol region. Indeed, there should be some space for realigning some non-urgent projects towards Albay, Catanduanes and other hard-hit areas. After all, if these provinces can recover faster, and the infrastructure in far-flung areas of these provinces is tended to, the rationale for insurgency is drastically reduced,” ayon kay Salceda.

“I’ll bring the matter of adjustment up to the bicameral conference committee. In general, the idea of spending on programs towards economic development in the countryside is the most effective way to rid of armed conflict of breathing space, because it feeds on resentment. I support those countryside development programs,” pahayag ni Salceda. “I appreciate the framework that sees armed conflict as ultimately rooted in poverty and underdevelopment. So, the countryside development programs under the task force is an acknowledgment that some solutions are not military in nature.”

“We’re looking at P6 billion in infrastructure damage, P3 billion in damage to agriculture, and at least P12 billion in damage to private property. This does not count the opportunity costs, of course, as Bicol will suffer from economic slowdown for a while, on top of our COVID-19 problems. So, budgetary adjustments towards hard-hit areas are welcome,” pahayag ni Salceda. “We can have a conversation on what items under countryside development projects of the task force can be redirected and/or optimized to help this recovery. That would a productive conversation.”

“These non-military interventions are important, and they diffuse government assistance to the poorest reaches of the country. I support these programs, and I am open to conversations on adjusting them,” pagtatapos ni Salceda.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight