DAVAO DEL NORTE, Nov. 23 (PIA) -- Major General Ernesto Torres Jr. of the 10th Infantry Division recently cited Executive Order No. 70 as “very effective mechanism” to permanently address all the problems brought about by insurgency”.
He made the statement as he appealed lawmakers in Congress and in the Senate to reconsider their move to slash lean the budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) created thru E.O. 70 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to focus on addressing the more than 5-decade local communist insurgency problem.
Looking back, Torres recalled the insurgency problem was used to be primarily addressed only by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
He confessed the military to have tried a number of campaign plans such as the “Lambat Bitag” among others, but he said the gains of such were found not sustainable.
“...but with this NTF ELCAC now, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, ‘ika nga. We are seeing the genuine peace and sustainable development if we will continue with the NTF ELCAC,” he said in a press conference held yesterday after presenting some 30 Ata-Manobo former rebels to Provincial Governor Edwin I. Jubahib.
Fair distribution of BDP budget
Meanwhile, Governor Jubahib appealed to the national government “to be fair” in distributing the budget for the Barangay Development Program (BDP) funded through E.O. 70
“Gusto kung iparating sa national government dapat pantay-pantay ang pag-distribute ng budget natin para sa barangay development program para makarating ito sa mga nangangailangan nating mga kababayan,” he said during the same forum.
He also pointed out the need to pour funding support for provincial governors found to have persistently been working to end local insurgency in their respective local government units.
He confessed to have used provincial government finances to beef up the resources of assigned military commands in insurgency-influenced areas, and to sustain efforts on addressing underlying causes of insurgency.
“..wala man kaming budget para dito ang local government. Ang ginagamit na budget dito, kami ang nagdiskarte thru the provincial government. LGU yong nagtutulungan paano kami maka re-align ng budget para i-sustain natin itong programa nitong ELCAC,” he revealed this as unity practice of local chief executives in the province of Davao del Norte. (PIA XI/ Jeanevive Duron Abangan)