If elected to the Senate once more, Antonio Trillanes IV vowed to abolish the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and make reforms in the security sector, as well as initiative good governance and anti-corruption initiatives.
“I would be pushing for the abrogation of the NTF-ELCAC kasi (because) I believe hindi iyon yung paraan para manalo tayo dito sa (I believe that’s not the way for us to win in this) insurgency,” he told CNN Philippines on Monday, Oct. 11.
Trillanes noted that during the time of the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, there were no such task force or other “draconian measures”, and yet it had the “lowest in term of numbers of insurgents” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Ang ginawa lang nila (All they did was) effective intelligence work. So good intelligence work iyan ‘yung magko-complement dun sa (that will complement the) effectiveness ng (of the) ground operations. Mag-focus lang doon sa combatants at mananalo ang ating gobyerno laban sa komunistang rebelde (Just focus on the combatants and our government will win against communist rebels),” said the former two-term senator.
Trillanes was a senator from 2007 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2019. Aquino was president from 2010 to 2016.
NTF-ELCAC has been criticized for red-tagging Lumad school personalities, community pantry organizers, celebrities, and other people it deemed to be critical of the Duterte administration.
Aside from pursuing the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC, Trillanes also wants to reform the security sector, as well as pursue improvements in good governance and anti-corruption initiatives.
“For example, sa AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), kailangan natin ‘yung mga (in the AFP, we need to focus on the) accountability components niyan pati sa PNP (Philippine National Police) kasi kailangan ma-reform at ma-reorient ulit (including in the PNP we need to reform and reorient again). At the same time, ‘yung (the) incentives for them, it’s high time na itaas ulit ‘yung (increase the) subsistence allowance and ‘yung (the) combat pay for the ground troops,” the former senator said.
Trillanes is the principal author of the AFP Modernization Law, which improved the benefits of active and retired military officers.
The increase of the subsistence allowance for the military was also expanded to cover other government employees through the Salary Standardization Law 3.
He said the law increased the salaries of government workers, teachers, nurses, the military, police, and the AFP and PNP pensioners.
Trillanes also said he wants to head the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which is tasked to hold investigations into alleged corrupt activities in the government.
The Magdalo Party chair will see to it that the “extent of the corruption and other anomalies” of the Duterte administration will be exposed.
He pointed out that the Blue Ribbon committee, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, “covered up” for the President in the past.
“Although belatedly ay naghabol sila but andaming mga (they are trying to make up for it, but there were so many) anomalies at mga krimen na nangyari (and crimes that happened in) the first five years na hindi naungkat so kailangan nating ilabas ‘yun (that were not investigated, so we need to bring those out),” he stressed.