PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit CARAGA or Region XIII today to personally oversee the accomplishments of the National Task Force and Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC).
According to NTF-ELCAC Vice Chairman and National Security Council Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the President will be receiving reports about the peace and order in the region as well as update on the Barangay Development Program (BDP).
President Duterte is the chairman of the NTF-ELCAC and the BDP is the flagship project of his administration.
To highlight the significance of the CARAGA Region to the NTF-ELCAC, the law enforcement agencies of the government were successful in neutralizing 978 New People’s Army (NPA) regulars and seized 290 firearms.
In 2016, there were a total of 11 Guerilla Fronts located in Region XIII. Three of these were completely dismantled while two are significantly weakened, The remaining six are in the process of being cleared by the security forces.
“I wish to highlight the neutralization of 37 high-ranking officials of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in the region,” Esperon stressed.
Another significant accomplishment of the RTF-XIII was the closure of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur.
“These schools were found to be illegally operating with the purpose of indoctrinating and radicalizing the youth/indigenous person sectors for their eventual recruitment as armed combatants of the CTG,” Esperon added.
On the status of the BDP in CARAGA Region, about 191 barangays were provided with different projects that include 359 infrastructure and non-infrastructure priority projects in 2021.
For this year, another 94 barangays were added as recipients of BDP in the region. They are from Butuan City (three); Agusan del Norte (eight); Agusan del Sur (45)l Surigao del Norte (20) and Surigao del Sur (18).
“With the successful implementation of BDP, we are fulfilling our mandate of establishing peace, security and development initiatives for the benefit of our communities. We in the NTF-ELCAC are optimistic that the momentum of peace and development initiatives being showcased today shall be the foundation for national stability and progress,” Esperon added.
The agency has expressed gratitude to President Duterte for his unceasing support and inspiring leadership the resulted in the impending collapse of the CPP-NPA.
President Duterte is scheduled to hold dialogues with local chief executives in the region. He will be accompanied by some Cabinet members and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police.
Esperon commended the local chief executives, regional line agencies and stakeholders for their efforts in upholding the NTF-ELCAC’s goal in CARAGA Region.