CALABARZON FORMS TASK FORCE VS. NPA
Top officials of the Calabarzon Region’s Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) brief media on the creation of their approved Joint Resolution Creating the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict” during their joint First Peace and Development Summit, sharing the formula of good governance, teamwork and convergence among government national and local agencies, military, police and civil society organizations to eradicate insurgency, at the RDC conference hall at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) IVA building in Barangay Milagrosa, Calamba City on Feb. 26, 2019. (Photo by Saul E. Pa-a)
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – Calabarzon Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) officials have approved a joint resolution creating the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
The officials signed the resolution during their First Peace and Development Summit on Tuesday at the RDC conference hall at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) IV-A building in Barangay Milagrosa here.
In a press conference, Calabarzon local chief executives, line agency regional directors, military and police top brass said the joint resolution aims to ensure effective and efficient implementation of Executive Order 70 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
EO 70 institutionalizes the “Whole-of-Nation Approach” in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and creates a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Calabarzon is composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
The Presidential directive, signed last Dec. 4, has ordered the adoption of a National Peace Framework, which paves the way for the creation of the Calabarzon Regional Task Force to provide a more comprehensive orchestration of related peace efforts and initiatives through a convergence of national agencies and LGUs, military, police and various sectors of the civil society organizations.
In the Calabarzon, the task force is formed to address issues and concerns of Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) by creating clusters patterned after the National Task Force to focus on specific issues.
Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, chair of the RDC-Calabarzon, Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla, chair of the RPOC-Calabarzon, the respective member-officials of the highest regional policy-making body, including Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) commander and concurrent Joint Task Force Katagalugan head, and police officials signed the joint resolution.
The official signatories also led other participants in the signing of the Commitment Wall affirming their pledge of support to “the Regional Task Force Calabarzon that will spearhead and provide directions in the fulfillment of the regional peace framework.”
Other signatories included National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. represented by National Security Council (NSC) Deputy Director General Maj. Gen. Damian L. Carlos; Secretary Jose Maria Nocomedes Heranndez, Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog; Maj. Gen. Gilbert L. Gapay, commander of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) Police Director Ericson T. Velasquez of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations for Southern Luzon; and NEDA IV-A Regional Director Luis Banua.
The Calabarzon officials also vowed to participate in localized peace engagements and interventions that will bring inclusive and sustainable peace and address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances, tensions and other armed conflict in identified areas.
Remulla said Cavite province is now insurgency-free, sharing his formula that there should not be an isolated area in the fast-growing and densely-populated province, as both national and local government services should reach the grassroots level.
“Kami sa Cavite, dapat walang naaping kapwa at kailangan napaglilingkuran ang mga mamayan (We, in Cavite, ensure no one is oppressed and local government services should be accessible to them),” Remulla told the media.
He also said there is no revolutionary tax or extortion by the New People’s Army (NPA) as they no longer exist in Cavite.
Velasquez, meanwhile, confirmed that one root cause of insurgency is dissatisfaction in government services, noting that good governance should ensure that no one is left behind in the mandated services of the concerned government agencies.
He also cited finding the link on the necessary government intervention programs to ensure government agencies are in a convergence to address pressing issues besetting constituents.
Hernandez, on the other hand, said their Presidential Southern Tagalog office is monitoring issues and concerns affecting the region.
“Wala na silang (NPA) ideology at ang ginagawa na lamang nila sa affected areas ay (They no longer have ideology and what they are doing right now in the affected areas are) criminality, extortion and terrorism,” Hernandez said. (PNA)