Friday, October 11, 2019

Summit tackles sustaining gains, closing gaps in addressing insurgency

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2019): Summit tackles sustaining gains, closing gaps in addressing insurgency

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The six Regional Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Mindanao converged here to tackle how to sustain the gains and address the gaps in the fight against insurgency.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. gives guidance on how to harmonize the efforts between the National task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the Regional Task Force-ELCAC. (PIA Cagayan de Oro)

National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. said the Mindanao RTF-ELCAC Summit was convened so that Mindanao RTFs can learn from the successes and best practices of other regions noting that many of the good accomplishments were coming from Mindanao.

He said the summit was also intended to harmonize the current undertakings of the task forces and identify the issues and concerns, and possible solutions to close the gaps in addressing insurgency.

"We have to plan for a more systematic, harmonized convergence of efforts to defeat the CTG," he said.

He also emphasized the transformation from military-driven operations to civilian-led operations. "We cannot defeat the CTG by the efforts of the military and the police alone. We need the civilian sector. You have the key to the solution of the CTG problem not only in Mindanao but the entire Philippines," he added.

For his part, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar S. Moreno stressed the importance of coming together to bring government closer to the people to address the root causes of insurgency.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar S. Moreno cites the importance of the national and local governments coming together to bring services closer to the people. (PIA Cagayan de Oro)

"If we want to end insurgency, then we have to bring government closer to the people, that's the only effective way," he said while citing the Lantad experience as a possible model of convergence and government's determination of reaching out to its constituents.

During the summit, all six RTFs presented their accomplishments. Some of the gains cited were the increases in the number of barangays cleared and local government units declaring CPP-NPA as persona non grata.

Accordingly, the focused military operations also resulted in the reduction of CTG capability. NPA-initiated violence incidence also declined. Immediate assistance to surrenderees was further provided through the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Moreover, the government's delivery of major programs and projects, as well as basic services, were prioritized in the focused areas.

Despite being hounded by certain concerns such as scarcity of funds, the Mindanao RTFs underscored the need to strengthen the link between the national task force and RTFs as well as among the local task forces.

The conduct of regular RTF clusters and inter-cluster meetings to deliberately discuss actions and ways forward in the operationalization of Executive Order 70 was also emphasized.

The Mindanao RTF-ELCAC Summit was participated by RTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group chairpersons, heads of the RTF-ELCAC clusters in Mindanao regions, nominated chairpersons of the Regional Peace and Order Council and Regional Peace and Order Council, NCIP regional and provincial directors, and NTF-ELCAC Secretariat.

The Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) of the Mindanao regions who graced the summit include Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, CORDS IX; Usec. Lorraine A Badoy representing Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar, CORDS X; Asec. Danielle Marie S. Rieza-Culangen representing Secretary Carlos S. Dominguez, CORDS XI; Secretary Isidro S. LapeƱa, CORDS XII; Cabinet Secertary Karlo B. Nograles, CORDS Caraga; and Usec. Cesar B. Yano representing Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, CORD­S BARMM.

Participants to the Mindanao RTF-ELCAC Summit listen to the best practices of Northern Mindanao in the fight against insurgency being presented by RTF-ELCAC TWG chairperson MGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal. (PIA Cagayan de Oro)

The Commanders of the Western and Eastern Mindanao Command and the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations for both Eastern and Western Mindanao were also present during the summit.

The RTF-ELCAC summit will also be conducted in Luzon and Visayas this month. The results of the summits will be presented to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the National Summit.

It can be recalled that on December 4, 2018, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70 known as Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach (WNA) in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace, Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and Directing the Adoption of a National Peace Framework.

Through EO 70, the President directed the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in addressing the root causes of local armed conflict by prioritizing the delivery of basic government services, social development packages, and construction of needed infrastructures with the end-in-view of ushering inclusive development in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. (APB/PIA10)

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