P31-M for ABB may cause demoralization among police
ZAMBALES Rep. Mitos Magsaysay cautioned the government of demoralization among the ranks of the police following its decision to allot P31 million for the housing and livelihood of families of surrendered members of the Alex Boncayao Brigade, the group responsible for the killing of roughly 200 policemen in the ‘90s.
“The timing of the government’s decision is very bad since the issue in Mindanao with the MILF is still very fresh,” said Magsaysay. “The families of the casualties also need help so what is the government doing for them?”
Magsaysay also noted that the country’s policemen are also complaining of shortage in benefits.
“This decision sends a wrong message to the police and military, especially at this time because it would seem that the leadership is prioritizing the welfare of those who are opposing or have opposed the government rather than those who are protecting it. It would seem that the government’s concern is more for those who have caused losses to the state rather than those who are risking their lives for the safety of our people,” she said.
However, since the government has already decided, Magsaysay said that if the state wants to achieve closure, as it claimed as the reason for this decision, it should at least ensure that the group has also kept its end of the bargain for the time the agreement was at a standstill.
“Before they give the money, they should make sure that the beneficiaries have not committed any lawless acts in the years since their commitment with the government and that those who are still active with their criminal activities will not be given a share of this fund,” she said.
“It is sad because the government is very loose in its purse strings when it comes to these groups but when it comes to projects that will benefit the people as a whole, they always cite austerity. And mostly, this backfires because the money they give are used to purchase arms that are used against government forces.”
“The government wants to achieve peace, and they want to achieve closure. That is commendable in itself but like it said, justice must be served for all, and rewarding those who have not kept their part is just an insult to families of the policemen who lost their lives to this group,” she concluded.