HOLDING LOCALIZED peace talks may be a “money-making scheme” for local government units (LGUs), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police, a left-leaning lawmaker said, Sunday.
“A classic case in point is what the AFP did with the P192.5 million PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) program in Maguindanao that had been released in 2012 for supposed road projects under the unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program but have remained unimplemented,” Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said in a statement.
“These types of anomalies along with the collection of bounty for fake surrenderees would become rampant with the supposed localization of peace talks,” he said.
According to Mr. Zarate, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza has already requested the AFP to return the P192.5-million fund, which was supposed to be used for the Lamud-Ganassi-Biarong road in the municipality of South Upi and the Makir-Sibuto-Kinabaka road in the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat.
In addition, the lawmaker also cited as example another scheme, wherein the Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government placed a reward of P466.88 million on alleged “235 wanted communists” during the time of former President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.
“Ganito din ang nangyari sa mga nakaraang administrasyon na gumagamit ng mga Order of Battle o hit list laban sa mga aktibista at mga kritiko ng gobyerno (The same thing happened during the past administration, which used an Order of Battle or hit list against activists and government critics),” Mr. Zarate said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan