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Aurora governor backs NTF-ELCAC budget: ‘It’s justifiable’

Aurora Governor Gerardo Noveras on Tuesday expressed his support for the proposed 2021 budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), including P16 billion to develop communities who were “removed” from communist influence.

“As it continues to help in realizing President Duterte’s directive to end local communist armed conflict at the soonest time, the Provincial Government of Aurora is strongly supporting the passage of the proposed P16.4 billion 2021 NTF-ELCAC budget,” the governor said in a statement shared by units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“It is very justifiable to have enough funds in support to localities ravaged by armed tracks. While communist insurgency is a big threat to our country’s future, poverty is another concern. This is why the proposed funds are clearly meant to support grassroots projects for barangays,” Noveras said.

He cited a recent incident when “two soldiers were killed while three were wounded in an attack by armed communist rebels during an aid distribution in Aurora.”

“It happened despite the government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire which was in response to the United Nations’ call for a global truce so all states can focus on the Covid-19 pandemic,” Noveras said.

“The Provincial Government of Aurora is against all forms of violence. The people of Aurora join the whole nation in calling for a lasting peace in the country because the future generation deserves it,” he said.