The whole of nation approach in the campaign to end the 54 year old communist insurgency in the country is slowly but surely gaining ground and momentum. The idea of the government to use the
countryside strategy originally employed by the communist rebels to encircle the seat of power in Manila, albeit with some modifications, has been achieved with resounding success.

By utilizing all local government units particularly barangays/villages as partners to enhance initiatives aimed at preventing the operational space and ultimately the influence of the insurgents, particularly the armed New Peoples’ Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines- National Democratic Front (NDF-CPPNPA), the government has finally gained the upper hand in this decades long insurgency.

The all-inclusive approach and strategy adopted by the government under its National Task Force
to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has borne fruit as reflected in the latest reports emanating from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). With respect to the security threat posed by the NPA insurgents, the AFP thru its spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar
disclosed the information that 67 guerrilla fronts have already been dismantled to date, with 3 of these fronts dismantled just this year, from a total of 89 fronts way back in 2016 and that the out of the remaining 21 guerrilla fronts 3 are still considered active while the 18 fronts are already weakened.

AFP spokesperson Col. Aguilar further bared to the media that AFP units were able to neutralize 9,818 NPA members, of which 358 are key leaders of the armed insurgent organization, recovery of
11,013 firearms and the liberation of 3,340 barangays from the influence of the CPPNPA. Aguilar also mentioned that just this year alone the military has already neutralized 189 NPA members with 141 of them surrendering to authorities while 22 were arrested and 26 killed in encounters.

Due to these accomplishments the AFP is of the belief that it has achieved strategic victory over the
insurgency in the country. (https://www.pna.gov.ph/ articles/1198271) Of course it goes without
saying that the whole of nation approach employed by the government thru its NTFELCAC infrastructure should double down on its efforts to further degrade the capability and strength of the CPP-NPA now that the latter is on the ropes.

One approach is to further suppress and prevent the CPPNPA in its recruitment strategy and this can be done by denying them avenues of opportunity such as in public schools and universities. For he longest time it is common knowledge that top government educational institutions have been used by the CPP-NPA as a place to recruit their members. We understand that the government respects academic freedom hence teachers and students in public educational institutions are allowed to express their opinions even ones that might be adverse to government interests. But
should not that opinion be restricted to the confines and privacy of that person?

And when that opinion becomes part of a conversation, speech, statement or remark should it not remain just an opinion or view or even belief without the necessity of persuading or inducing others to share that opinion or belief? If that opinion, view or belief which runs counter to the democratic tenets of the government is used to encourage, convince and persuade others to join a particular cause behind that opinion, belief or view and arm themselves in pursuit of it, then that teacher or student has no reason being part of that public educational institution.

Perhaps the government can come up with measures similar to what is being done in the LGUs, particularly in the barangays, to also encourage the enhanced the involvement of public educational institutions in the campaign to end the CPP-NPA insurgency. It is well to remember that the CPP-NPA continues to be an enemy of the State in a protracted war that has endured for more than fifty years, and in a war such as this it is deemed a criminal act to aid and abet the enemy.

Amianan Balita Ngayon