THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 10th Infantry Division (10ID) hopes Davao Region will be declared insurgency-free soon with the continuation of the implementation of Executive Order Number 70 by the former administration.

“Dako gyud kaayo nga nahimo nga contribution ang NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict or the Executive Order Number 70) sa atoang campaign against insurgency (The NTF-ELCAC really helped us a lot in our campaign against insurgency),” Capt. Mark Anthony Tito, AFP 10ID spokesperson, said in an interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio on July 1, 2022.

Tito said starting in 2018 when the program was first implemented, they have neutralized nine high-value individuals (HVIs) and key leaders, 461 firearms (FAs) gained, 503 communist terrorist groups (CTG) neutralized, 117 barangays cleared with 77 encounters while two guerilla fronts (GFs) have been dismantled.

In 2019, they have recorded five neutralized HVIs and key leaders, 318 FAs gained, 258 CTG neutralized, and 54 barangays cleared with 46 encounters while four GFs and Pulang Bagani Command/Company (PBCs) were dismantled.

Despite the Covid-19, in 2020 10ID were able to neutralize three HVIs and key leaders, 232 firearms gained, 226 CTG neutralized, 22 barangays cleared with 42 encounters while three GFs and one PBC were dismantled.

In 2021, as they implemented the Barangay Development Program, they were able to neutralize 17 HVIs and key leaders, 146 FAs gained, 185 CTG neutralized, and 34 barangays cleared with 17 encounters while three GFs and 1 PBC have been dismantled.

As of latest in 2022, 10ID were able to neutralize 14 HVIs and key leaders including Menandro Villanueva, the highest-ranking NPA (New People's Army) leader, 137 FAs gained, 97 CTG neutralized, 29 barangays cleared with 17 encounters while three GFs and one SRGU (Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit) dismantled, one weakened Guerilla Front, and only one RGU left.

As the region is slowly coping with the pandemic, 10ID continues the implementation of the NTF-ELCAC which leads to the declaration of some of the Davao Region provinces insurgency-free.

“Una-una sa Davao Region ang atoang pinakauna gyud diha is Davao City nag-inusarang highly-urbanized city sa Davao Region, ug uban na mga probinsya, Davao del Norte nga declared atong June 13, sunod ang Davao Occidental, wala sila’y formal declaration but declared gyud silag insurgency-free ‘tong June 16, 2022. Lastly, Davao del Sur, however, pareho sa Davao Occidental wala sila’y formal declaration or ceremony,” Tito said.

(First is the highly-urbanized city of Davao Region, Davao City, followed by Davao del Norte which have been declared insurgency free on June 13, 2022, then the Davao Occidental, though they didn’t have a formal declaration, they are insurgency-free since June 16, 2022, and lastly, Davao del Sur, however like Davao Occidental, they didn’t have a formal declaration).

Tito said despite not having a ceremony these provinces circulated a resolution declaring insurgency-free.

“These provinces naa na sila’y mga respective resolutions declaring provinces, including cities and municipalities as insurgency-free provinces (they have respective resolutions declaring insurgency-free provinces),” Tito said.

Tito said Davao del Sur might formally declare insurgency-free soon. KSD