TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) - - The acting commander of the 5th Infantry Division (5ID) , Philippine Army has assured other government agencies that are part of the Cagayan Valley Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) of their commitment to work hand in hand to ensure the services of countrymen need reach them.
During the RTF-ELCAC round table discussion held today at the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Office No. 2, BGen Audrey L Pasia, who sits as the chair of the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development cluster, said that the 5ID is not letting its guard down against the New Peoples Army (NPA) and has reiterated that they will continue to pursue and destroy the remaining armed groups of the Komiteng Rehiyon- Cagayan Valley (KR-CV).
“Without the armed groups, without the firearms, they [NPA terrorist] will have no more reasons to overthrow the government through an armed revolution,” BGen Pasia said.
The acting commander added that if the remaining armed groups of the KR-CV will be neutralized, the latter’s front organizations will only become ordinary political parties given the fact that these organizations have received diminishing support especially during the recent national and local elections.
BGen Pasia further said that the NPA members who draw support from the people out of intimidation through their firearms will soon receive no support from communities if their armed groups are destroyed.
“Sabi ko nga sa mga tao ko, kung yung NPA pumunta sa baryo, sa bundok nanghingi ng kung ano-ano, sabihin man nila na NPA sila pero wala na silang baril baka batukan na lang sila ng tao kasi hindi na sila armado,” he shared.
“This has been the framework I have been using since 2011 [referring to Whole-Of-Nation Approach]. . Sa whole-of-nation approach po, kanya-kanya po tayo ng trabaho at functions pero all of these are convergence. Ang sa amin po sa armed group [kami] nakafocus, Let us do our job. You cannot expect the teachers, judges, mayors to fight the armed group, sa amin po yun ngunit tulungan niyo po kami,” he added.
The acting commander also briefly reoriented other members who attended the round table discussion on the purposes of the existence of the ‘red’ and ‘white’ areas of the NPA.
“The focus of white area is to support the red area. It’s not the red area supporting the white area kasi kailangan nilang i-preserve ang armado to overthrow the government,” he said.
“Eto po hinihingi namin sa inyo, trabaho na namin ang red area katuwang ang PNP. Tulungan niyo po kaming i-address yung mga isyu na ibinabato ng mga white area gaya ng walang kalsada, tulay at marami pang iba,” he added.
Addressing the issues and concerns raised by the ‘white area’ is actually what the Whole-of-Nation, Whole-of-Government Approach calls for according to BGen Pasia.
“Magtulungan po tayo kasi walang magmamalasakit sa Pilipinas kundi hindi tayong mga Pilipino rin. At walang tutulong sa PIlipino kundi kapwa Pilipino,” he said. (MDCT/PIA-2)