Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque took a jab at the militant Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives for claiming that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) received an illegal fund transfer from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“May sinasabi ang Makabayan bloc laban sa DILG dito sa pondo ng (NTF-) ELCAC ay nagkaroon daw ng fund transfer at sinabi nila na ito raw ay ‘highly irregular’. Wala pong irregular doon (The Makabayan bloc is accusing the DILG of making a ‘highly irregular’ fund transfer to the NTF-ELCAC. There is nothing irregular with that),” Roque told reporters during a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, August 24.
“Ang nangyari naman po dito sang-ayon kay [DILG] Secretary [Eduardo] Año is that wala pong fund transfer, ito po ay downloading of funds from the DILG central office to their regional office at ito daw po ay authorized under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2020 (According to Secretary Año, what happened here wasn’t a fund transfer, but a downloading of funds from the DILG central office to their regional office, which was authorized under the General Appropriations Act of 2020),” he explained.
“So wala pong ganyang report ang COA (Commission on Audit), Makabayan bloc lang po (So COA doesn’t have such report, only the Makabayan bloc does),” he added.
Roque further denied that NTF-ELCAC funds were prone to abuse. “I disagree kasi wala naman tayong nababalita na malaking…findings ng (NTF-) ELCAC (I disagree because we haven’t heard any huge findings on NTF-ELCAC).”
The illegal fund transfer allegedly amounted to P2.9 million.
The six congressman-members of the Makabayan faction are said to be the sole voice of opposition in the Lower Chamber. They have repeatedly denounced the NTF-ELCAC, which considers them as terrorists due to their alleged ties with the left.
Some of the incumbent Makabayan solons were Roque’s House colleagues during the latter’s stint as a party-list congressman from 2016 to 2017.