President Rodrigo Duterte will convene key officials of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), members of his Cabinet, and the security sector on Monday at Malacañang Palace to discuss and strengthen anti-insurgency efforts being undertaken by the government.
In a statement on Sunday, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the meeting will be participated in by the Cabinet Officers Responsible for Development and Security (CORDS) and other members of his Cabinet, the heads of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and the Regional Development Council (RDC), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP).
He said the Joint NTF-ELCAC and AFP-PNP Command Conference will serve as a platform for the President “to provide guidance on strengthening convergence efforts among all instrumentalities of the government.”
“In his ongoing directive to enhance existing mechanisms of good governance, the President had repeatedly called on members of his administration to address the economic and security concerns in conflict-prone and conflict-affected areas,” said Esperon, who is also vice chairman of NTF-ELCAC.
Duterte signed Executive Order 70 last December 2018 to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in dealing with the communist terrorists through the NTF-ELCAC.
A whole-of-nation approach prioritizes the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government, facilitates societal inclusivity, and ensures active participation of all sectors of the society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.
Esperon said that through the programs of the NTF-ELCAC, the President is keen on putting an end to the atrocities committed by the communist terrorist groups and seeing the lives of the Filipino people uplifted from poverty and conflict before his term ends.
“In his campaign against the communist armed conflict, which had stretched to 51 years, the President directed his government to address the causes of insurgency through the efficient and effective delivery of basic services, justice, and infrastructure development,” Esperon said.
Last Oct. 31, police and military personnel have conducted simultaneous joint operations in offices of activist groups suspected to be fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) in Bacolod City and Metro Manila.
In 2017, Duterte terminated peace talks with the communist rebels following continued attacks against government troops and their insistence to collect revolutionary taxes.
CPP-NPA has been tagged as a terror group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)