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Duterte highlights anti-insurgency efforts in final SONA

In his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte highlighted the government’s initiatives in the quest to eradicate communist terrorism across the country by bringing long-term and sustainable solution and basic services to communities in need.
 
Citing the work of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the President said the government made “great strides in addressing the root causes of the conflict by empowering people used by communists for decades.”
 
President Duterte admitted that the NTF-ELCAC was a "deviation" from the "traditional military approach in dealing with matters of national security."
 
The President said, “In our continuing effort to build safe and conflict-resilient barangays, we have worked towards the sustainable rehabilitation and development of communities where communists used to operate.”
 
He cited the Barangay Development Program (BDP), under which villages cleared of "communist influence" were given P20 million for various projects.


Through the NTF-ELCAC, the President said the government invested in farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation, and livelihood.


He said, “Because of these interventions, more than 17,000 former communist rebels have surrendered to the government. They have returned to the fold of the law and are happily reintegrating to society, thanks to the Enhanced Community Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.”


The development approach as a major component of the strategy for winning the peace is shedding light and hopes in the attainment of lasting peace as it fosters people's trust and support as they openly manifest their desire to cooperate to stop communist terrorism.
 
It even gave the rebels the courage to surface and avail of the opportunities given to them as they have seen the sincerity of the government to eradicate all issues that the communist terrorist group use to exploit the people.
 
“With the support of our local government units, I am confident that support for the communist movement will continue to erode in the next few months,” he said.
 
He added, “And just like the decades-old Moro rebellion in Mindanao, we will also bring an end to this armed struggle once and for all.”
 
Lorraine Marie Badoy, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary for New Media and External Affairs and NTF-ELCAC Strategic Communications Cluster Chair, agrees with the President saying that one of the biggest accomplishments of the NTF-ELCAC include the BDP and the consciousness of the people.

Lorraine Marie Badoy, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary for New Media and External Affairs and NTF-ELCAC Strategic Communications Cluster Chair, shares during the pre-SONA program that by fighting communist propaganda through effective dissemination of information on government programs, “Naangat ang kaalaman ng ating taumbayan tungkol sa mga panloloko ng CPP-NPA-NDF in the community.” (JMCQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)

“The BDP has been very helpful in ending insurgency, especially sa mga malalayo o geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas na hindi nakaramdam ng tulong mula sa gobyerno that is why madali silang maloko ng mga CPP-NPA-NDF,” Badoy said during the pre-SONA program hosted by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Ramon Cualoping III.
 
By fighting communist propaganda through effective dissemination of information on government programs, she said, “Naangat ang kaalaman ng ating taumbayan tungkol sa  mga panloloko ng CPP-NPA-NDF in the community.”
 

National Security Adviser and Vice-Chair of the NTF-ELCAC Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the “whole-of nation-approach” must be sustained to turn back the communist groups in the communities and end the insurgency problem. (photo by April M. Montes-Bravo/PIA Ilocos Sur)

Further, National Security Adviser and Vice-Chair of the NTF-ELCAC Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the “whole-of nation-approach” must be sustained to turn back the communist groups in the communities and end the insurgency problem.
 
“In the ELCAC, we are doing very coordinated and harmonized operations covering everything. All the root causes of insurgency that they want to exploit, we will address it,” Esperon said during the post-SONA Kapihan sa Ilocos organized by PIA-Region 1 on Tuesday.
 
Despite all the challenges and uncertainties we face, this is a remarkable accomplishment that needs to be appreciated and supported.
 
A major step toward putting an end to the insurgency problem proves that President Duterte's promise is not just lip service.
 
In conclusion to his SONA, President Duterte said, “Together, let us rise as a nation.”
 
May these words inspire us to be involved and think of a way to contribute to the government's programs in order to create a progressive nation we all deserve. (JCR/AMB/PIA Ilocos Sur)

About the Author

April Bravo

Editor

Region 1

April M. Montes-Bravo is an Information Officer III of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Region 1. She is currently the Information Center Manager of PIA Pangasinan Information Center based in Dagupan City.

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