By Tracy Cabrera
File photo shows NPA rebels surrendering to the military in Sultan Kudarat. (Photo: PTV News)
MANILA — With no less than interior and local government secretary Eduardo Año describing the country’s communist insurgency to be “on life support,” former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and senatorial aspirant Guillermo Eleazar lauded the country’s security forces in its initiative to end the more than five-decade-old conflict between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) communist insurgency in the country, months before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in June next year.
Año, who has been in the fight against communist rebels since his days as a soldier and until now as the Cabinet secretary overseeing the police, attributed the weakening of the insurgency to different efforts carried out under the government-funded National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
Eleazar couldn’t agree more as he noted how many communist-infested provinces and NPA-controlled areas have been cleared of local Maoist influence and are now cooperating with the authorities to either monitor the movement of communist guerilla units or convince them to surrender and return to the government’s fold.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng ELCAC sa adhikain nating mapanumbalik ang katahimikan at kapayapaan sa ating bansa sa pamamagitan ng taimtim na diyalogo at pakikipagkasunduan na mapatigil ang karahasan at sa halip ay isulong ang tunay na mga pagbabago para sa kaunlaran,” the retired police general pointed out. (ai/mtvn)