AFP's counterrevolutionary war is riddled with corruption

This article is available in Bisaya

The so-called whole-of-government approach is rotten. “Bayanihan” is practiced only by the government officers in squandering and pocketing the public funds.

Despite the upcoming national elections in 2022, the current administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue wasting the people’s money. They shamelessly push for the allocation of billions of funds for the National Task Force-Elcac, even as as it reeks of corruption and controversies. Corrupt AFP officials and local politicians will surely pocket a big share from the proposed budget. On the other hand, it can also serve as a campaign milking cow in the upcoming elections.

For local and even national politicians, now is the best time to push for the allocation of ₱20 million for each barangay through the Barangay Development Program of NTF-Elcac. This will hugely benefit candidates in buying people’s votes and allocating for corruption-ridden infrastructure projects. Even now, local politicians and the military insist on visiting villagers and forcing them to attend mass meetings. They make residents line up and subsequently declare them as “hundreds of NPA surrenderees” even if in reality, they exceed the usual number of actual NPA fighters operating in the area. Lastly, they declare such barrios as “cleared” in order to claim their share of millions from the budget.

Why does the AFP need to waste huge funds just to get the people’s sentiment? Why do politicians, desperate in winning the elections, have to go through that process? Are their usual campaign tricks, sweet-talk and dancing in front of the public no longer effective? These only prove that the revolutionary movement have greatly served and helped in most barangays. The government needs to spend a lot of money to get the people to their side.

So now barangay officials are bragging about NPA presence in their areas so that some funds can reach them. But is ₱20 million enough for the people to forget about the revolutionary movement helping them in improving their livelihoods or even reach barangay residents?

It is a fact that there is nothing that the reactionary state can do to beat genuine land reform, raising wages, raising the farm gate prices and so on. Even in health issues, the NPA has done more to help the masses with their health. In addition, peace and order is sustained and drug problem is resolved in areas where there are NPA units.

Consequently, the measure to cut the ₱28 billion proposed budget of the NTF-Elcac is only just. There is already a lot of evidence of the malpractice of its E-CLIP program and the funds will only be wasted on violent red-tagging, harassment and fake news peddling.

In addition, all AFP operations and transactions under Duterte do not undergo auditing from the Commission on Audit. In fact, apart from the budget cuts, the National Task Force should no longer be funded, and should be completely abolished. As the country is confronted with severe hunger and poverty, it is only right for the people to unite and move to condemn the administration and the AFP’s corruption.

As it is, the state concentrating its strength to desperately defeat the revolutionary movement will only pave the way for the people’s resistance to grow stronger.

AFP's counterrevolutionary war is riddled with corruption