Duterte: We made strides in addressing root causes of communist insurgency
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday bragged about the government’s efforts in fighting the communist insurgency.
Duterte lauded the programs of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) and declared “we have made strides in addressing the root causes of this conflict.”
“Peace must be realized. Peace and security is not only just a military concern. That is why we deviated from the traditional purely military approach in dealing with matters of national security,” Duterte said in his final State of the Nation Address.
“With the creation of NTF-Elcac, we have made strides in addressing the root causes of this conflict by empowering our kababayans who have been used by this communist pursuit for many decades. In our continuing efforts for safe and conflict-resilient barangays, we have worked towards the sustainable rehabilitation and development of communities where the communist used to operate,” he added.
Through the NTF-Elcac, Duterte said the government invested in farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation, and livelihood.
“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 the community,” he also said.
The NTF-Elcac has made headlines after its officials were linked to numerous controversies, most of which surrounding red-tagging groups, celebrities, and even journalists.
Just last April, several lawmakers called for the defunding of NTF-Elcac and instead reallocate its funds for the assistance of the public continuously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic after its officials were linked to the red-tagging of a community pantry organizer.
A human rights watchdog also recently found that human rights violations increased in villages that received bigger allocations under the NTF-Elcac’s so-called Barangay Development Program (BDP), which the Department of the Interior and Local Government denied.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.