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Duterte to convene top officials over anti-insurgency drive

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to convene key officials of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday to boost the military’s counter-insurgency efforts.

In a statement, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Duterte will meet the Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security, heads of the Regional Peace and Order Council and the Regional Development Council.

Officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will also attend the meeting.

“The Joint NTF-ELCAC and AFP-PNP Command Conference will serve as a platform for the President to provide guidance on strengthening convergence efforts among all instrumentalities of the government,” said Esperon.

“In his ongoing directive to enhance existing mechanisms of good governance, the President had repeatedly called on members of his administration to address the economic and security concerns in conflict-prone and conflict-affected areas,” the vice-chairman of NTF-ELCAC added.

Through the programs of the NTF-ELCAC, Esperon said Duterte is “keen on putting an end to the atrocities committed by the communist terrorist groups and seeing the lives of the Filipino people uplifted from poverty and conflict before his term ends.”

In December 2018, Duterte signed Executive Order 70 to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in dealing with the communist terrorists through the NTF-ELCAC.

A whole-of-nation approach prioritizes the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government, facilitates societal inclusivity, and ensures active participation of all sectors of the society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.

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