BAGUIO CITY (October 19, 2021) — Victory of the government versus the New Peoples Army is already on hand, Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations chief, Major Gen. Rhodel Sermonia assured on Monday.
Sermonia during Monday’s ‘virtual’ press briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said, the police, along with all the government agencies implementing the whole-of-nation approach, can “end the more than five-decade insurgency of the CPP-NPA-NDF by the end of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term on June 30, 2022.”
“After 5 decades, this is the only administration that is able to provide a holistic solution to insurgency problem. In recent years, we have seen the manifestation of victories, like yung passage ng anti-terror bill and the designation of CPP NPA as terrorist organization, and the enactment of Executive Order 70 that created NTF-ELCAC at marami pa pong ibang mga programa para finally we can end this local communist armed conflict,” Sermonia claimed.
Sermonia though pointed out that victory over the CPP-NPA-NDF will not be possible without the President Duterte’s “wisdom in providing insightful solution to the problem.”
“Eto po yung mga pinag-isipan talaga. All of these lead to the most commonsensical strategic direction which is ‘winning the hearts and minds’ ng ating mga kababayan sa pagbibigay ng good governance and better government services,” he explained.
He added that the creation of NTF-ELCAC, one of the most important legacies of President Duterte, made it easier for the police to join hands with the Filipino people in “weakening and crippling the lines” of the CPP-NPA-NDF in the far-flung areas through “massive police-community relations.”
“Halos abot-kamay na ang ating decisive victory. Marami na ang naniniwala sa programa ng ating pamahalaan. Kaya marami na rin ang sumusuko sa kanila (CTGs),” Sermonia stressed.
He also said that through the legal offensives of the Duterte Administration, such as the Anti-Terror Law, the CTGs have suffered major blows to their financial capabilities. “We unmasked their infiltrators, sino ang mga cadre, through our mobilization of a coalition against their front organizations,” he further explained referring to the “relentless implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) and the creation of the Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers.
This global coalition provides proactive leadership, direction and guidance to all government and multi-sectoral efforts to build strong collaborative partnership with the community in support of the ongoing campaign against communist insurgency, illegal drugs, extremist terrorism and disaster mitigation.
“Nagagawa nating i-cripple sila (CPP-NPA-NDF), also with our revitalized ‘Pulis sa Barangay’,” the police official said, pointing at that government services are now being delivered, felt and sustained even in the farthest barangays which were largely ignored in past administrations. To date, Sermonia said, people are choosing to join the bandwagon for a genuine and lasting peace by supporting this government’s previous and recent successes in military and police operations by providing information about communist rebels.
“Tuloy-tuloy na ito hanggang maramdaman ng ating mga kababayan ang malasakit ng ating Pangulo,” he added, noting that the Duterte Legacy Barangay Caravan is simultaneously being rolled out across the country, not as an “information drive” but as a genuine help to our countrymen. “Pinupuntahan natin ang mga apektadong lugar lalo na this time of pandemic,” he added
Sermonia noted that 70 percent are white areas or the “kapatagan” which means the CPP-NPA-NDF is carrying their war through the metropolis using their front organizations while the 30 percent is through the armed struggle in the mountains.
However, the government is winning in both fields, “by weakening the presence of the CTGs in the communities by synchronizing all efforts of government agencies and real people’s organizations, plus the support of our countrymen”.
The police official though emphasized, “what is just needed this time, is a strong finish to feel the real “decisive victory” of President Duterte’s legacy to the country.
Artemio A. Dumlao