DND seeks more funds for anti-terror operations

Bandera (Mindanao) - - NEWS - — John Roson

THE Armed Forces has already spent about P3.5 billion in battling the ISIS-linked Maute group in Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.

That amount was spent for the purchase of ammunition, bombs, fuel, food, and medicine, as well as benefits for wounded soldiers and families of slain troops, Lorenzana told reporters.

These funds came from this year’s budget of the Defense department, and soon will be running dry.

That is why, according to Lorenzana, they will ask the government to replenish the department’s budget.

"Medyo nagkaroon tayo ng shortfall ngayong 2017 dahil marami tayong nagastos doon sa Marawi... hindi naman kami humihingi ng dagdag, ginamit lang namin 'yung aming current funds, parang inadvance lang towards the end of the year. Pero somewhere along the way, we will have to ask the government, Malacanang, to replenish para naman di maapektuhan ' yung operations ng AFP," the defense chief said.

Lorenzana made the remarks after attending the Senate's budget hearing for the DND.

The DND expects to get over P180 billion in the coming year, but this includes pensions for veterans and retirees.

Some P1.5 billion of the budget has been allocated for intelligence funds, which will be used mainly in operations against terrorism and insurgency, Lorenzana said.

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