Eleazar denies PNP's alleged misuse of NTF-ELCAC funds for 'census'

Published August 6, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) belied allegations Friday, Aug. 6, that it has been misusing the multi-million peso fund of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to conduct census in different barangays nationwide.

Philippine National Police Chief, General Guillermo Eleazar (File photo from PNP-PIO)

Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegations which were brought up by Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who is both a former police general and PNP head honcho himself.

“The PNP is [neither] conducting nor instructing our chiefs of police to ask 30 percent of barangay residents to give their names, contact numbers and addresses for census. We have no use for any census,” Eleazar said.

Prior to this, Lacson said Thursday that he received reports about a “police general” who was allegedly giving instructions to chiefs of police to gather personal data of 30 percent of residents in an unidentified barangay for a “census”.

“We received reports that in the PNP, there is a general making rounds [in the communities]. They were given P800 million [from NTF-ELCAC fund] and part of that allegedly is being used to give instruction to their chiefs of police to conduct a census among barangay residents,” he was quoted as saying in a television interview over ANC.

The senator said he has yet to investigate why some PNP officials were supposedly conducting census.

But Eleazar insisted no such moves were happening.

Instead, he said they were implementing the Intensified Cleanliness Policy (ICP) in support to the NTF-ELCAC where cops promote “cleanliness in the office, cleanliness in the ranks, and cleanliness in the community.”

“Another approach that we have done is to deepen our police community relations programs by working with different communities nationwide, including NGOs [non-government organizations] and advocacy groups,” he explained.

“We are promoting cooperation and coordination between the PNP and the community to improve our services and work hand in hand with members of the community for our anti-drug and anti-criminality efforts, as well as protecting the community, especially the youth, from falling prey to syndicates and being recruited by communist fronts,” he noted.

Eleazar said the police organization “is not disheartened by such unfounded statements” from Lacson, who served as PNP chief from 1999 to 2001.

“We would like to thank Senator Lacson, because this has given us an avenue to air the side of the PNP and to show the projects and programs for the people,” Eleazar said.

The NTF-ELCAC is an inter-agency government task force tasked to end the five decade-long problem of insurgency in the country by bringing development package programs to communist-freed barangays.

Among its member-agencies is the PNP.

The NTF-ELCAC’s budget this year is P16 billion. It is asking for P40 billion in 2022.