The Army Chief has dismissed questions about spending by the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation, saying that there is no need to explain anything because it has been transparent.
On 21 Dec, Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha reportedly responded with irritation to reporters’ questions about the expenses of the CRES. ‘Why? Where did you get those figures of tens or hundreds of billions of baht from? There were only allowances. The officials earned as much as they worked. [You] just multiply a number with the number of companies of troops. Where can we get the money from? Where did you get the figures of hundreds of billions? Go ask whoever came up with the figures. I know that it was people among you who said that,’ said the General.
When reporters repeated the same questions, Gen Prayuth said, ‘Don’t know. Go find the figures yourself. I don’t know such figures. I never care. When the budget got approved, it was then distributed to the agencies involved. The security agencies do not get tens or hundreds of billions. The government would not have that much money. […] Please stop fabricating, writing nonsense, or [accusing] the military of doing this in exchange for buying that.
‘What do I get? I purchase those things. Does Thailand get the benefit? Where are those interests? I don’t know, because I don’t gain anything, and no one else does. Go find answers for yourself as to what Thailand should have, or purchase, to protect itself. If you keep questioning what should or should not be purchased, or about corruption, you have to provide evidence. There would probably be no one who wants to work for or take care of the country, because such people have been destroyed one by one. Who will you turn to? Please be constructive.’
Asked whether the CRES should explain its spending for the sake of transparency, the army chief said that there was no need to explain, because everything had already been transparent.
‘What is there to be explained? Why? What did I do wrong? You should ask the government instead to explain the spending. If we have to explain everything, we will not be able to work. I and the military have not gained anything from the spending. It was those officials who worked in conditions of hardship out there every day to get the money. Why? Aren’t they human, so they need no money or need not eat?’