The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Western Visayas (RTF6-ELCAC) has praised President Rodrigo Duterte for his strong commitment to put an end to the 53-year-old insurgency perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army -National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, RTF6-ELCAC spokesperson, on Saturday said the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) under Executive Order No. 70, serves as the “crowning glory of the Duterte Administration.”
“The NTF-ELCAC stands on the platform of good governance, public accountability, and bringing the basic social services and the much-needed infrastructure projects to the communities that have been overlooked and neglected for so long,” Gonzales said in a statement.
He added that the NTF-ELCAC addresses the core issues and concerns “that have fueled dissent and discontent among our poorest of the poor that has been the breeding ground for exploitation and recruitment by the CPP-NPA-NDF communist terrorist organization.”
Three years into effect, Gonzales said the NTF-ELCAC’s “whole-of-nation” approach has allowed the deprived far-flung communities in the countryside to be “liberated from the clutches” of the communist terrorist groups.
Among the legacies of the Duterte’s anti-insurgency task force were the return of the thousands of CPP-NPA-NDF members to the folds of the law; the dismantling of communist armed fighters and the mass base supporters in the mountains; and facilitated the reintegration of the surrenderers into the “mainstream society.”
Despite many challenges and adversities, Gonzales said the NTF-ELCAC is “winning the peace for the Filipino people.”
“We, the men and women of the RTF6-ELCAC, stand tall and stand proud, for having been given the privilege and the opportunity to answer the call of duty, above and beyond what is expected of each and every one of us,” he added.
The RTF6-ELCAC also vowed to continue the gains of the Duterte administration in terms of pushing for long-lasting peace and developments in the country.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, a President has stood up to the challenge of ending the 53-year-old local communist armed conflict. Not by force of arms alone. But by bringing the entire government bureaucracy to converge on a single, unified goal of bringing good governance to the Filipino people and in the process, address the root causes of the insurgency, thereby winning the peace by winning the hearts and minds of the Filipino nation,” the statement said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.