RDC-Davao vice chair: NTF-Elcac won’t be abolished


THERE is no truth that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) will be abolished, as what is called for by several personalities including United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on Freedom of Expression Irene Khan and other leaders of left-leaning groups in the country.

This is according to Arturo Milan, vice-chair of the Davao Regional Development Council (RDC-Davao), during the 14th Anniversary of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the 30th Founding Anniversary of the Brunei-Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) press conference on Friday, February 16, 2024.

The official said the insurgency task force has been funded by the central government, particularly the National Security Council (NSC) as it has been instrumental in achieving long-lasting peace and social developments in remote and vulnerable areas in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

“Although there are efforts to abolish it, but according to the vice-chair of the National Security Council, the NTF-Elcac will continue. In fact, there is a budget that has been provided,” Milan said.

On the other hand, Milan cited that NTF-Elcac’s major achievements in the past three years especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) is the breaking down and decreasing of the poverty incidence in the region by 10 percent.

To recall, the NSC said in the early week of February that the task force serves as a game changer in the country’s 52-year-old battle against communist terrorist groups (CTG).

“With the strategic victory over the New People’s Army (NPA) and the exploratory peace talks with CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front), it would not be proper at this time to abolish the NTF-Elcac,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said in a media forum.

The NSC has disagreed with all of the recommendations against abolishing the task force, particularly Khan’s position and personal stance, and that there is a need to take necessary measures to shift NTF-Elcac into a different entity — the National Task Force on Unity Peace and Development — to further sustain the development projects in the impoverished areas that were neglected due to communist conflict. DEF


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