BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RPMC) of the New People’s Army lauded the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Oriental to markedly slash the budget intended for “intelligence gathering fund” in order to allocate more resources for Covid-19 response.
The SP earlier approved the reduction of provincial government intelligence fund from P11 million to P1 million.
Although the amount involved is not enough to effect a massive consequence in the anti-Covid drive of the province, such measure sets a good precedent related to the question of budget prioritization and making independent policy decision, local rebel group spokesperson Estrella Banagbanag said in a statement.
Banagbanag said they admired the courage of Negros Oriental SP members for standing up to what is right out of their own volition, and thoughtful consideration of the situation.
The RMPC also called on SP members to hold on to their independence, and persist in rendering meaningful services to the people of Negros Oriental, through relevant legislation and other means.
The members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) of Negros Oriental have asked the SP to retain the P11 million intelligence-gathering funds.
The Council members made the request after Police Col. Bryant Demot, provincial director of the Philippine National Police, raised the need for the funds.
Col. Leonardo Peña, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, reiterated the importance of the funds to address the insurgency problem in the province.
Peña said the intelligence gathering fund can greatly help in the fight, not only against insurgency but also criminality and illegal drugs.*with report from PIA