BY JESSICA M. BACUD
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – Governor Manuel N. Mamba, the Chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) for Cagayan Valley, has strongly backed local insurgency to its conclusion in the region.
Mamba earlier came up with concrete interventions and helped craft programs in addressing the decades-long insurgency problem.
He has urged everyone to help fight the rebel groups operating in the remote barangays of the provinces and discouraging barangay residents to support these agitators.
With the massive number of surrenders, the governor cited a noteworthy inroad in its efforts to achieve peace and order and end insurgency through the implementation of PRRDs Executive Order 70 (EO70) following the creation of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
Relatively, the governor made a statement on the death of Joma Sison, “Now is the time to do away with Armed Struggles for CPP NPA NDF so real Peace and reconciliation with Justice will reign in our beloved country the Philippines.”
Jose Maria Canlas Sison also known by his nickname Joma, the founder and Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose armed wing has been waging one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies, has died.
Sison died 10 days before the party he founded in 1968 was marking its 54th anniversary on Dec. 26. Its armed wing, the New People’s Army, was established months later in March 1969, numbering only about 60 Maoist fighters armed with nine automatic rifles and 26 single-shot rifles and pistols. But the movement gradually grew and expanded across the impoverished nation.
The CPP, along with its affiliates New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front, are also considered terrorist organizations by the Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council.
The Department of National Defense said Sison was responsible for the death of thousands of civilians and combatants. It said his death “deprived the Filipino people of the opportunity to bring this fugitive to justice under country’s laws.”
Meanwhile, an Updated report by the Philippine Army on Peace and Security Situation stated that amid the decline of enemy forces in terms of manpower, the dismantling of guerrilla fronts and mass bases and the massive surrender of members of the New People’s Army to the government, the region has been experiencing relative peace.
The creation of the first Operation Center for the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) functioned in a 24/7 basis and manned by military officials and cluster representatives from various member agencies has serve as the monitoring and coordination office to orchestrate projects, programs and activities of government agencies to address insurgency problem in the region.
The establishment of the center aims to fulfill the mandate of the Executive Order 70 of former President Rodrigo Duterte to institutionalize the whole-of-the-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, Mamba said.
To name a few, the Provincial Government of Cagayan led in assisting these former rebels who return to the folds of the government and are now given work in the provincial government.
“This will give them a chance to live a normal and peaceful life not only by safeguarding the safety of their families but also by enabling them to become productive citizens,” Mamba disclosed.