PNP wants ‘more active role’ in anti-insurgency campaign
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will ask the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to give them a “more active role” to end the decades-long insurgency in the country.
PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said he thinks the contribution of the police in the effort to terminate communist rebellion seems to be lacking.
“We will be actively participating (in the campaign) and probably we will request from the Armed Forces or even from the national task force a more active role of the PNP in ending insurgency,” he said in a press briefing on Monday.
The military is primarily tasked to operate against the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and is being considered as terrorists by state security forces. The PNP, meanwhile, only acts as a support unit.
Gamboa said he wants to give more task to police mobile forces in helping the AFP operate against communist rebels.
But despite this, he admitted that ground officers need more “education” about the NPA, since the police were only accomplishing a “support role” to the military in anti-insurgency operations. He said an “exchange of notes” between the PNP and the AFP should also be put in place.
He added the PNP will “address squarely” the legal fronts of the CPP in different sectors.
“Kung meron silang mga (If they have) organization on the students, labor, industries, then probably dyan ‘yung i-address squarely ng PNP (the PNP will address that squarely), but we haven’t discussed the details of that yet,” said Gamboa.
The PNP is part of the NTF-ELCAC formed by President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Order No. 70 in December 2018, which institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in attaining “inclusive and sustainable peace” in the country.