MANILA The proposed National Task Force to End Insurgency (NTFEI) will not entail any additional budget for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a military spokesperson said Monday.
"The AFP proposed creation of this NTFEI does not seek to obtain additional budget for the AFP or for the military to cause burden to our people, the NTFEI's primary purpose is to integrate and to harmonize all efforts of government agencies that are determined to solve the lingering issues that drive armed conflict," AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
He added that in order to beat the 50-year insurgency threat, national prosperity must be achieved along with security, good governance, and development.
"In this framework the AFP advances and recognizes the fact that defeating a 50-year-old menace that is the CPP-NPA-NDF(Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) cannot be achieved by military solution alone, the AFP is aware that it would require the participation of the whole of government with its line agencies performing their core functions by bringing goods and services to the underprivileged and vulnerable sectors especially those at the grassroot level," he added.
The AFP spokesperson also said NPA extortion tactics in the countryside has resulted in the collection of PHP5.315 billion worth of revolutionary taxes from 2015 to 2017 and greatly stunting economic growth.
"According to available records, the NPA through their revolutionary taxation which is a euphemism for large scale extortion has amassed an estimated 5.315 billions of pesos from the period 2015 to 2017. Therefore, the NPA crippled agricultural business, denied employment and livelihood to the people, drove away investors and stunted economic growth," he added.
Arevalo also said that the elimination of the NPA is needed in order for the country to achieve progress. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency