VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Robredo changes tune on NTF-ELCAC’s mandate

After earlier calling the mandate of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) a “duplication of efforts,” Vice President Leni Robredo now says she is “all for [the agency’s] mandate and functions.”

Watch this video:

During a meeting with the Rotary Club of Makati on Nov. 9, Robredo, who is running for president in the 2022 elections, was asked how she would adjust the budget of the anti-communist insurgency task force should she win. The proposed budget for the NTF-ELCAC in 2022 is P28.12 billion, up from this year’s P19.2 billion. In 2020, it had an allocation of P1.7 billion.

That same day, the Senate slashed the agency’s 2022 budget by P24 billion, and reallocated the funds to the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 booster inoculation program, and benefits for health workers.

On Dec. 1, the Senate increased the task force’s allocation to P10.8 billion, of which P10 billion would be given to the task force’s Barangay Development Program (BDP).

In the Nov. 26 statement issued by her office, Robredo lauded the BDP, saying it is the “best part of everything.” The BDP aims to rehabilitate 822 barangays that were “formerly established as the CPP-NPA-NDF’s guerilla fronts.” The NTF-ELCAC received a P16.4-billion budget for the BDP in 2021.

“Paniniwala ko talaga (I really believe) it is through concepts like this that the problems of insurgency can be addressed upfront,” Robredo was quoted as saying in the statement.

Robredo’s media affairs office told VERA Files Fact Check that the vice president, through her spokesperson lawyer Barry Gutierrez, will release an official statement on the issue. This has yet to be released despite follow-up.


Editor’s note: This article was updated to include the video fact check.


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Leni Gerona Robredo Official Facebook Account, AFP SECURITY BRIEFING, Nov. 26, 2021

Office of the Vice President (Media Affairs Division), Press release: VP Leni assures AFP of support in anti-insurgency campaign, Nov. 26, 2021

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Barangay Development Program, Accessed Nov. 29, 2021

Department of Budget and Management, Expenditure Program FY 2021 Volume III, Accessed Dec. 6, 2021

Rotary Club of Makati Official Youtube Channel, RCM Meeting: RVOTE Session 3 with VP Leni Robredo, Nov. 9, 2021

ABS-CBN News, NTF-ELCAC to suffer P24 billion budget cut next year: Angara, Nov. 9, 2021, Senate cuts NTF-Elcac 2022 budget by 86%, Nov. 10, 2021

CNN Philippines, Senate cuts NTF-ELCAC budget by ₱24B to fund health workers’ benefits, Nov. 9, 2021

Nikkei Asia, Philippines to raise anti-insurgent budget elevenfold, Nov. 26, 2020, After ‘substantial’ cut, Senate raises NTF-Elcac’s fund to P10.8B for 2022, Dec. 1, 2021

GMA News Online, Senate version of 2022 budget allocates P10.8B for NTF-ELCAC, Dec. 1, 2021

Philippine News Agency, Senate OKs nat’l budget including NTF-ELCAC’s P10.8-B, Dec. 1, 2021


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)