Bato calls out UN rapporteur on proposal to abolish NTF-ELCAC


Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa called out a UN rapporteur for suggesting to abolish the country’s anti-insurgency task force.

Dela Rosa, who was defending the 2024 proposed budget of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) at the Senate plenary on Wednesday, reacted to a proposal made by UN Special Rapporteur Ian Fry to abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF- ELCAC) and to his statement that the body is “operating with impunity.”

“That is why we are in quandary right now, Your Honor. NTF-ELCAC is all about good governance and delivery of basic services to the communities and they are not involved in armed confrontation with the enemies of the state. Why are they lambasting the NTF-ELCAC? Maybe they are being fed with wrong information,” Dela Rosa stated.

The Mindanaoan said this in response to Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino who sought for the former’s comment after Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel made an inquiry with regard to OPAPRU’s mechanism in addressing alleged human rights violations made by the task force, the office’s attached agency, against members of the leftist organizations.

olentino also asked OPAPRU, through Dela Rosa, if they were involved in the visit preparations for the UN expert.

“OPAPRU is not involved, Your Honor. Had they been involved, for sure, magbabago iyong paningin noong foreigner na iyon sa NTF-ELCAC. They will be informed accordingly,” Dela Rosa said.

Fry just recently wrapped up his 10-day visit to the Philippines after several meetings with different civil society organizations and government officials to talk about the country’s climate change policies.

Dela Rosa expressed dismay and believed the UN expert was misinformed and was only able to hear the side of the leftist groups.

“Hindi naman porke nasa gobyerno tayo, pero ‘yung tama lang na information dapat ang nakakarating sa kanila,” Dela Rosa lamented.

In the same session, OPAPRU’s budget was deemed submitted along with Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which were all sponsored by Dela Rosa. 

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