Leftist solons invited to launching of projects for NPA-free barangays

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    NATIONAL Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. yesterday said he is going to invite leftist lawmakers to witness the implementation of the proposed development programs in 822 barangays, worth P16.4 billion, so they could see for themselves there will be no irregularity in the projects.

    In a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, Esperon described as unjust allegations of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives that the budget being requested from Congress is a form of pork barrel fund.

    “These accusations are unfounded and without merit,” said Esperon, adding that the proposed Barangay Development Program is a whole-of-nation approach to ending the decades-old insurgency problem.

    The development programs include construction of farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water systems, irrigation, health stations, among others, said Esperon.

    Esperon said the 822 barangay beneficiaries have been predetermined by National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, chaired by President Duterte. The task force’s vice chairman is Esperon.

    Esperon said the 822 barangays have been cleared of communist influence from 2016 to 2019. He said the projects should be implemented in these barangays, or the NPA “will simply start coming back” to these areas.