"Why are they terribly threatened with the presence and the whole-of-government approach of the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) in ending this communist terrorist scourge?"
This was the response of NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy after Gabriela Women's Party Representative Arlene Brosas called for a "zero budget" and the abolition of the task force following the former's "red-tagging" remarks.
In a statement sent to GMA News Online late Monday night, Badoy maintained that the NTF-ELCAC, at its very core, is about "good governance."
"We have come to realize that the worst of us — these communist terrorists — have been able to exploit the most helpless, the most vulnerable in our midst because government, for the longest time, did not serve our people well," she said.
"And so our people had become vulnerable to the lies and deceptions of a most deceitful, most hypocritical, barefaced liars who say one thing and mean another," she added.
Badoy, in a separate statement over the weekend, called Makabayan Bloc lawmakers "high-ranking party members" of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) whose goals are to weaken the government until it is totally destroyed "so that the CPP may topple our democracy and install, in its place, communism."
Such statement did not sit well with Brosas, prompting her to call for a zero budget and the abolition of the NTF-ELCAC.
"The red-tagging and terror arm of the government should be abolished and its P19 billion budget be realigned to COVID-19 response," Brosas said.
"That would be enough to triple the proposed P6.7 billion budget for urgent COVID-19 response," she added.
But Badoy claimed that it was CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison himself that declared the party-lists whom the Makabayan Bloc lawmakers represent are "fronts of the terrorist CPP NPA NDF (New People's Army - National Democratic Front).
"And so GABRIELA's Rep. Arlene Brosas asking that Congress give the Task Force tasked to end this communist terrorist scourge zero budget comes as no surprise to me," she said.
"Even though it is true that CPP NPA NDF founder Joma Sison has redtagged his own comrades, Makabayan Bloc members give themselves away with their words, their actions, their affiliations, their deeds," she added.
Badoy also defended the NTF-ELCAC's proposed P16-billion barangay development program for communities "cleared" of insurgency, which ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro earlier questioned.
"The NTF ELCAC have crafted a budget where government finally does what it's supposed to do and where a huge part of NTF ELCAC's budget will go to our country's most geographically isolated and disadvantaged barangays," she said.
Badoy stood by the "whole-of-government" approach being espoused by the NTF-ELCAC.
"I am confident NTF ELCAC's goals of ending this blood-soaked chapter in our country's history, where Filipinos kill fellow Filipinos and where we empower the poorest of the poor to live lives of quiet dignity and where our country can be all that we had hoped it would be squares neatly with the goals of the real representatives of the people," she said. —KG, GMA News