Valenzuela forms city and barangay task force to end local insurgency
To solidify their support to the government’s whole-of-nation efforts to put an end to communist insurgency in the country, all 33 barangays of Valenzuela City pledged their commitment to help end local armed conflict (ELCAC) through the creation of a City and Barangay Task Force on ELCAC at the Valenzuela City Center for the Performing Arts (VCCPA) Auditorium this February 17.
The City and Barangay Task Force on ELCAC also vowed to adopt principles, implement policies, plans, and programs that will address all insurgency-related issues and terrorist threats, and to lead localized peace engagements in accordance with the nation’s peace and development agenda.
The local ELCAC task forces also signified their active participation to fully implement the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) – aiming for an engaged, transformed and more empowered barangays in Valenzuela City in the future.
E.O. No. 70, Series of 2018
The establishment of the local task forces and the ceremonial signing of the Pledge of Commitment took place during the Barangay Peace and Order Summit organized by the Valenzuela City Philippine National Police (PNP), in compliance with Executive Order (E.O.) No. 70, Series of 2018 which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 4, 2018.
The EO endeavors to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, create a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and direct the adoption of a National Police Framework.
Aside from founding the NTF-ELCAC, the EO also mandates the setting up of regional ELCAC task forces all over the country.
The whole-of-nation approach gives attention to the primary reason of insurgency, internal disturbances and tensions, and other armed conflicts and threats through the government’s strengthened and coordinated delivery of basic services and social development packages. This approach likewise promotes societal inclusivity and ensures the active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of peace agenda.
In 2019, President Duterte directed the NTF-ELCAC to “work doubly hard in addressing the problems of insurgency so that our people can enjoy safer and more secure [communities]”.
Peace and Order Summit
While insurgency issues predominantly hound the countryside, the National Capital Region (NCR) is gradually being infiltrated by communist-terrorist groups (CTGs) according to the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP- NCRPO).
PCOL Julius C. Suriben, PNP-NCRPO Chief of Regional Community Affairs and Development Division (RCADD) cites that NCR and its cities are being targeted by these groups because of NCR’s vulnerability as it houses the seat of government, it serves as a fertile ground for insurgents as it is home to big universities, and that the metro provides ample opportunities to fire up the masses through its numerous issues and propaganda events.
PCOL Suriben further stressed the importance of having a dynamic stance to stem insurgency even at the city or barangay level. “A proactive city or barangay task force on ELCAC is needed in delivering prompt response and taking quick, proper, and correct steps to address the issue of CTGs. Also, the ELCAC task force can strengthen the community to prevent and suppress the destructive work of the Left. Lastly, the task force can also pave the way for the city or barangay to achieve sustainable development and for constituents to live stable, comfortable, and secure lives,” he explains.
Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja expressed her gratitude to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the PNP, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for implementing local ELCAC programs and reiterated Valenzuela City’s support for and commitment to the government’s peace-keeping initiatives.
Vice Mayor Natividad-Borja assures that “Naniniwala kami na walang siyudad na magiging patuloy na maunlad kung magulo at walang katahimikan. Kaya po, dito sa siyudad ng Valenzuela, sa pangunguna po ni Mayor REX Gatchalian, umasa po kayo sa [aming] patuloy na pagtalima sa [inyong] mga programa upang lalo pa nating mapanatili ang peace and order. Kaisa po ninyo ang buong lungsod ng Valenzuela.”
In his message read by NPD Director PBGEN Bondoc, NCRPO Regional Director PMGEN Vicente Danao Jr. articulated his desire for the police and the city and barangay task force "to have a strong connection to be able to work together and strategize how to maintain the peace and order in the barangays."
Present during the event were Valenzuela Liga ng mga Barangay President Hon. Bienvenido Bartolome Jr. and barangay captains, SK Federation President Hon. Exequiel Serrano and SK Chairpersons and Kagawads, DILG Valenzuela City Director Mary Jane Nacario, Barangay Peace and Order Kagawards, and Valenzuela City Disaster Risk Reduction Management (VCDRRMO) Head Dr. Arnaldo Antonio.
Also around to grace the event were Valenzuela City Police Station (VCPS) officials led by Chief of Police PCOL Fernando Reyes Ortega, Northern Police District (NPD) officials led by Director PBGEN Nelson Bermudez Bondoc, and Chiefs of Police of the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas, and Armed Forces of the Philippines – Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Valenzuela City Task Unit Commander MAJ Edwin Cariño.
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