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Sara commends task force to end communist insurgency

VICE PRESIDENT Sara Duterte recognized the efforts of the Joint Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) to protect and maintain peace and order in the region.

The Vice President also leads the awarding of the National Task Force-ELCAC Gawad Parangal, given to agencies for their outstanding contribution to ending armed conflict in the Davao Region.

“I can now emphasize the importance of your anti-insurgency programs in your respective agencies and offices,” Duterte said during the meeting between the ELCAC XI, Regional Peace and Order Council, and Regional Development Council XI at The Apo View Hotel on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

“It will determine the future of our cities and municipalities and the future of our children,” she said.

Duterte, who attended the meeting on Wednesday is also the vice-chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local  Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The Vice President said the declaration of Davao Region last October 2022 as insurgency-free does not mean zero problems, especially since the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) has not been totally eradicated. 

Mao nang kinahanglan dunay ingon ani nga avenues, joint meetings of RPOC and RDC where we can discuss kung ano ba yung dapat nating gawin to protect the peace here in Davao region (That’s why we need avenues like these joint meetings of RPOC and RDC where we can discuss how to protect the peace here in Davao region),” she added.

Moreover, the NTF-ELCAC vice chair asked for support to protect the youth, especially the indigenous youth who are typically targeted in the [NPA] recruitment. 

Kaya humihingi din kami ng tulong ninyo na protektahan ang kabataan natin at mapanigurado na sigurado sila ay nasa loob ng paaralan at sila ay nakapagtapos ng pag aaral (So, we are also asking for your help to protect our youth and make sure that they are in school and able to finish their studies),” the education secretary further said.

Also during the meeting, NTF-ELCAC executive director Ernesto Torres Jr. said the most difficult part of the campaign is how to preserve the peace gains. 

Yan po sana pagtulungan natin dito and we have experienced the beauty of the whole of government approach, whole of nation participation, and importance of good governance,” Torres said. 

“We must continue to let it work for us to sustain our peace gains and make Davao region greater than what it is today,” he added. “My call is to renew our commitment and sustain our collaboration and convergence.” 

As discussed during the meeting, Lawyer Elisa Lapiña, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Eastern Mindanao director, said they are now more focused on reconciliation and transformation of the former rebels, their communities, and their families.

Lapiña cited as an example Ka Marikit, a former NPA commander who surrendered last 2021 but till now have not yet received the benefits from E-CLIP (Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program ).

She earlier said the issue of delayed E-CLIP benefits surfaced during OPAPRU’s transformation program planning workshop in three regions, where FRs and various stakeholders raised the concern in the plenary.

E-CLIP is a government initiative that aims to provide a comprehensive package of benefits and assistance to FRs who have decided to return to the fold of the law.



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