– The Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) has explained to local chief executives (LCEs) the importance of implementing ELCAC projects in the hinterlands.
At the first quarter meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) held at Subanen Hall, Provincial Government Complex, Dao this city on Monday, February 1, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, commanding officer of the 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion, Philippine Army told the LCEs that the ELCAC projects implemented by the provincial government such as the opening of roads and road clearing in the identified CPP-NPA influenced barangays helped solve communist insurgency in the province.
Herrera informed the provincial officials, heads of national government agencies and LCEs that a number of road openings and road clearing projects have been carried out by the 547 Engineering Brigade, 53rd Infantry Battalion, and LGUs where some of the projects are 100% completed and some are still ongoing.
Herrera specifically mentioned the ELCAC projects implemented and carried out in the towns of Bayog, Dumalinao, Dumingag, Midsalip, Kumalarang, San Miguel, and Tigbao.
He also observed that the most remote barangays without infrastructure projects were the most visited by the CPP-NPA group but when the Philippine Army opened the road no members of the communist terrorist groups were seen visiting the barangays.
Herrera added that when the road from barangay Dagum to Tiwales in Lakewood was opened, the people were very happy.
“People were very happy when the road from barangay Dagum to Tiwales, Lakewood was opened because it was the first time they saw 4-wheel vehicles entering the mountain,” Herrera happily announced.
Meanwhile, 1Lt Jerris Brian Abaniel, civil-military operations officer of the 547 Engineering Brigade, also enumerated the roads and covered courts they built in the municipalities of the province.
Abaniel said the 547 Engineering Brigade’s construction of the road was a major contribution to the government’s anti-communist insurgency campaign as the movement and presence of CTGs has slowed down.
“If we leave the CPP-NPA influenced barangays and if we do nothing, the CTGs will return to the barangays,” Abaniel explained.
In a similar development, Herrera said that the PTF-ELCAC have ensured the realization of President Rodrigo Duterte’s EO No. 70 in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace of the province.
“Through our very diligent provincial peace and order council under the leadership of Governor Victor Yu and with the joint cooperation and efforts of all national government agencies, I believe that the problem of CPP-NPA insurgency will be completely resolved,” he concluded. (RVC/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)