Saturday, January 4, 2020

Antique to create task force vs. insurgency in 590 villages

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 3, 2020): Antique to create task force vs. insurgency in 590 villages (By Annabel Consuelo Petinglay)

INTENSIFIED ELCAC DRIVE. The University of Antique main campus in Sibalom town is shown in a file photo hosting the Campus Peace and Development Forum facilitated by the provincial task force in 2019. The Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict will be organized down to the barangay level this year to intensify the campaign for inclusive and sustainable peace. (Photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique -- The government campaign to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) will further be intensified this year with the organization of task forces in the 590 barangays of Antique province.

The plan was confirmed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Antique Director Cherryl Tacda in an interview on Friday.

“Task force ELCAC will be organized in the barangays of the province,” Tacda said. The task force has been organized at the provincial and municipal levels in Antique.

She said organizing the task force down to the barangay level is provided for in Executive Order (EO) 70 that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018 to attain inclusive and sustainable peace in the country by institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach.

Tacda further said that the respective mayors of the 18 towns in the province could help much as they take their responsibility in ensuring the organization of the barangay task force ELCAC.

In Antique, the Provincial Task Force (PTF) ELCAC was created on Sept. 26, 2019, through EO 119 issued by Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao in adherence to EO 70.

With the creation of PTF-ELCAC, several activities were conducted by the provincial government, such as the October 24-25 medical-surgical-dental mission and information caravan in San Remigio and Valderrama towns, which are considered as conflict areas with the continuing presence of members of the New People’s Army.

About 1,500 individuals in the two municipalities availed of services brought to them through a convergence effort of different national government agencies and local government units.

Information, education, and communication campaigns were also held at Saint Anthony’s College and the University of Antique so students would not be lured by the insurgents who were reportedly recruiting young members in schools.

A Provincial Youth Leadership Summit was held at Saint Anthony’s College in San Jose de Buenavista last November 8-10 while a Campus Peace and Development Forum was held at the University of Antique main campus in Sibalom on December 5.

Meanwhile, Tacda said the municipality of San Jose de Buenavista held a covenant signing of local officials, police, school principals and other stakeholders on November 11 in support of EO 70, declaring the communist rebels as persona non grata. (

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