viber_image_2020-05-07_10-52-29Ipil, ZSP – Combined Army troopers of 53rd and 97th Infantry Battalion saved an abandoned wounded New People’s Army in Barangay Guibo, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, Wednesday afternoon, 06 May 2020.

The NPA was identified as alyas Lando, who was wounded during the recent encounter between the 97IB and the NPA in Barangay Pange, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte last May 4, 2020.

“The unit responded to an information from the locals that a wounded NPA was trying to seek medical help and refuge in one of the sitios of the said barangay,” said LtCol Jo-ar Herrera, Commanding Officer, 53IB.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, Commanding Officer, 97IB who’ve joint forces with the 53rdIB identified the rescued NPA as alias Lando, a member of Team Abe, Squad 2, Main Regional Guerrilla Unit (MRGU) of Western Regional Party Committee.

“Accordingly, he is also the gunner of the M60 General Purpose Machine Gun that was recovered by our troops during the last encounter,” Lt. Col. Boransing said.

In addition, Col Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade said that, “alias Lando will be medically attended and treated by our military doctors.”

For his part, Commander, 1st Infantry Division, Major General Generoso “Gene” Ponio commended the troops for giving premium in protecting lives, even the life of their own enemy.

“Aside from the soldiers’ tactical skills, respect to human rights and observance to International Humanitarian Law are also instilled to every soldier,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.

“These individuals were also victims of deceit and lies from the propagandas of the NPA. If we can save as much individuals through the different government programs such as Enhanced Comprehensive Integration Program (E-CLIP) or even immediately after encounter just like what happened today, we will do so,” Maj. Gen. Ponio added.

As of this posting the rescued NPA was evacuated.

Star Troopers Hauls and Delivers Medical Supplies to Fight COVID-19

Gamu, Isabela –  The 5th Infantry (Star) Division facilitated the hauling and delivery boxes of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Aerosol Sanitizers from National Task Force COVID-19 to recipient hospitals in Region 2 on April 23 and 24, 2020.

Said medical supplies were hauled from NTF COVID-19 Logistics Hub, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City to 5th Division Administrative Coordinating Center (5DACC), Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City and were further transported to 84IB Military Camp in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija where the alert team from 5ID picked-up said items on April 23, 2020.

To maximize its utilization, the Star troopers through 502Bde, 86IB, 17IB, 5CMOBn  immediately distributed said medical supplies comprising of five (5) boxes of PPE containing fifteen (15) sets of PPE per box, and eighteen (18) pieces of Aerosol Sanitizer to Veterans Regional Hospital, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; Southern Isabela Medical Center (SIMC), Santiago City; Isabela Eye Specialist Hospital, Santiago City; Santiago Medical City, Santiago City; Isabela Doctors General Hospital, Ilagan City; Quirino Province Medical Center, Cabarroguis, Quirino and Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC), Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Upon receipt of the said medical supplies, the management of the aforementioned hospitals wholeheartedly thanked the Star Troopers for directly delivering the PPEs and Aerosol Sanitizers that are certainly needed in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Such worthwhile endeavor shows the tangible spirit of “Bayanihan” among the Philippine Army and the National Task Force COVID-19 composed of teams from different agencies of the Government, conducive of vigorous and synchronized efforts to mitigate and totally eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic by way of profound caring not just the COVID-19 patients but also the attending doctors and nurses who also risk their lives in order to save others lives.

MGEN PABLO M LORENZO AFP, Commander of 5ID, PA expressed that the Startroopers are committed to support the NTF-COVID in the fight against COVID-19 that plagues the nation. “Our troops, will always be ready to respond in times of national emergency just like the COVID-19 crisis” he stressed.

Galvez to Communist: Stop the lies, violence in these trying times

PASIG CITY (March 23, 2020) – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. urged the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to show humanity in light of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis in the country.

Galvez called the communist group to stop instigating violence, lies, and instead help the Filipino people overcome the threat of Corona virus.

“The time calls for us to have our sense of humanity. Our ultimate goal here is to stop the spread of the virus and ease the plight of our countrymen,” Galvez emphasized.

“Instead of serving the Filipino people, the communist is wasting their energies by attacking innocent people and spreading lies and deceptions. I am urging the communist to come to their senses and be rational,” he urged.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in good faith has ordered for a unilateral ceasefire to focus the attention of our policemen and soldiers to serve the people at the frontlines as the nation collectively tries to combat the spread of the disease,” Galvez said.

“But what we are getting from the communist are continued harassments, killings, and the unabated criminal extortions,” he added.

The chief peace adviser made the statement after the so-called leaders of the communist group rejected the government’s unilateral truce.

“Their actions only showed their real character just like any other terror group. Their only intention is to continue to destroy this country and nothing else,” he said.

Galvez described the recent pronouncements of the communist as a fruitless attempt to “instigate” hatred against the government.

“Instead of helping in saving the humanity, they are sowing fear and disinformation,” Galvez said.

“What the communist group is doing is that they are trying to exploit the situation to advance their political agenda,” Galvez added.

Presidential peace adviser has earlier condemned the rebels for the killing of two civilians on the first day the unilateral ceasefire declaration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte took effect.

According to Galvez, the separate attacks carried out by the communist in Visayas and Mindanao “shows the heartlessness of the rebel group despite the severe health crisis our nation is now facing.”

“Stop the lies. Stop spreading hate speech. Stop attacking innocent people. Stop the violence,” Galvez said.

“We have one common enemy here. In these trying times, we can’t afford to be divided, we should be united,” Galvez added.


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Tired and Weary NPAs Surrender in Bukidnon

IMPASUGONG, BUKIDNON. March 14 – Three tired, hungry and exhausted Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) surrendered to the Local Chief Executives in the Province of Bukidnon on March 11 and 12.

On March 11, two (2) CNTs under Guerilla Front 88, Sub-Regional Committee 3, and Guerilla Front 4B, Sub-Regional Committee 1, voluntarily surrendered to Hon Anthony A. Uy, Municipal Mayor and Commander of Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of Impasugong, Bukidnon.  The next day, @Aljun, a Political Guide of Guerilla Front 89, Sub-Regional Committee 2, surrendered to Hon Reynard Encarguez, Barangay Chairman and Commander of Barangay Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict of Bgy Iba, Cabanglasan Bukidnon bringing along with him one (1) cal. 45 caliber pistol and one (1) anti-vehicle landmine.

In his statement, @Marlboro revealed that he decided to surrender because, “Lisud kaayo ang kinabuhi diri sa bukid uban ang mga rebelde.  Ang pagkaon, ug ang mga saad nga panginabuhi kay dili sakto para masuportahan ang panginahanglanon sa akong pamilya. Ug tungod sa taas nga demand sa among mga commander, gina  pugos ko pag ayo nga mag operate matag buntag ug gabie na walay gihatag na saktong oras na pahulay ug pagkaon na makaon. Mao nakakuha gyud ko dakong kaisog para mo surrender sa gobyerno ug mamuyong malinawaon”. (It is very hard to live in the mountain with the rebels.  The foods and promised livelihood was not enough to accommodate the needs of my family. And also due to the high demands of our commanders, I was forcedly mandated to operate every day and night without giving enough time to rest and foods to eat. Therefore, I took courage to surrender to the government and live peacefully”).

Lieutenant Colonel Edgardo V Talaroc Jr, Commanding Officer of the 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion said, “Akong gi-awhag ang ubang myembro sa NPA nga munaog na ug mobalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno aron magpuyo nga magmalinawon uban ang inyong mga pamilya. Adunay Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) nga naghulat para sa inyo tanan (I am calling the attention of the remaining NPA members to go down and return to the government side to live peacefully together with your family. We have the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) waiting for all of you.)

The former rebels will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to avail the benefits offered by the government to include firearm remuneration, immediate and livelihood assistance and more.

1 NPA Killed, 1 Soldier wounded in series of Encounters in Bukidnon

IMPASUGONG, BUKIDNON. March 18- One (1) Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) was killed and one (1) soldier got wounded during a series of encounters in an uninhabited and isolated area in Sitio Bendum, Brgy Busdi, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, yesterday.

In response to reports from the civilian populace of Sitio Bendum regarding the presence of the CNTs in their area, the Dependable troopers promptly conducted a combat operation to prevent the CNTs in executing terroristic activities to the civilian populace.

During the operation, the troops encountered more or less fifteen (15) CNTs under Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) Dario of Guerilla Front (GF) 89, SRC2, NCMRC which resulted to one (1) killed CNT and capture of one (1) M16 rifle.

While conducting pursuit operations, another encounter occurred wherein One (1) soldier was wounded and immediately evacuated for medical care.

LTC Edgardo Talaroc Jr,  Commanding Officer of the 8th Infantry Battalion stated; “Ako mapasalamaton sa kumonidad nga nag sumbong sa presensya sa maong teroristang NPA nga nag resulta sa dali nga pag responde sa atong kasundalohan.

Kami nagapaabot sa among tinud-anay na simpatya sa pamilya ug kaparintihan sa nahitabong kamatayon sa maong teroristang NPA. Dili na unta kani mahitabo kung ilaha unta gisunod among tambag nga mobalik sa sabakan sa atong gobyerno. Ug karon, ako manawagan pa ug utro sa mga teroristang grupo sa pag naog ug pag surrender sa inyong armas. Kami andam mo tabang na mahibalak kamo sa inyung mga matag-usang pamilya. Ang atong gobyerno adunay Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) aron mahimong mas mamaayo ang inyong kinabuhi ug luwas.”

(I am thankful to the community who reported the presence of the NPA that led to the quick response of your Philippine Army.

We offer our sincere condolence to the families and relatives on the death of the said CNT.  This could not have happened if they heeded our call to surrender. Hence, I once again call upon the CPP-NPA terrorists to come down and lay down your arms, we will assist you to return to the mainstream society and to your families. The government has Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program ( E-CLIP) to make your life better and safe.)

Ranking military commander warns students not to join ‘immersion’ activities organized by Communist Terrorist Groups

Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – With the coming summer vacation, Major General Lenard T. Agustin AFP, Commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, warned the high school and college students not to join in the so-called ‘immersion’ activities organized by Communist Front Organizations (CFOs).

These ‘immersion’ activities has been the front organizations’ way of luring new recruits to be brainwashed, and later force them to be leaders of the communist terrorist armed struggle.

These kind of activities are organized every summer by communist terrorist masterminds, especially that the New People’s Army anniversary on March 29 is only few days away.

Instead of joining these activities, the students are encouraged to focus their time and energy to look for summer jobs, involve themselves in sports, join humanitarian and church activities or help their parents in doing house chores to bond with their respective families.

Meanwhile, the 7ID Commander called on the parents to monitor the activities of their children this summer.

“Parents should also be aware of these kinds of so-called immersion activities of CFOs that would lead their children to the destructive arm of communist terrorist groups (CTGs). Joining these groups is a waste of time, and destroys bright future of youths and students. If you love your children, please do your part and protect them against the cunning ways of these communist front organizations,” said Major  General Agustin.


CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela – Dating kapitan ng barangay na si Joseph Alicnas Calabson, 47 taong-gulang pinagbabaril ng tatlong kalalakihan nagpakilalalang miyembro ng Nona Del Rosario Command New Peoples’ Army-Ifugao sa mismong ipinapagawang bahay ng nasabing biktima sa Tukucan, Tinoc, Ifugao noong ika-3 ng Marso 2020.

Ayon sa salaysay ng asawa ng biktima sa pag-iimbestiga ng mga pulis sa nasabing krimen ay may tatlong hindi kinikilalang lalaki ang biglang pumasok sa kanilang ipinapagawang bahay at nagpakilala ang isa na si “aka” Francis kung saan nabanggit din nito na sila’y nagpunta na doon noong taong-2016.

Sa pagsasalaysay ng asawa ng biktima, matapos nilang ibaba ang mga dala-dalang bagpacks ng mga nasabing suspek sa krimen ay lumabas ang isa sa kanila at isa sa dalawang naiwan ang bumaril sa ulo ng nasabing biktima at pagkatapos ay lumapit naman ang isa at pinagbabaril ang nakahandusay na biktima.

Ayon pa sa nasabing imbestigasyon ng Tinoc Municipal Police Station, matapos tumakas ang mga nasabing suspek ay nag-iwan sila ng apat (4) na papel na may nakasulat na Nona Del Rosario Command New People’s Army(NPA) kung saan nakasaad din doon ang pag-amin nila sa ginawa nilang krimen kasabay ng pagparatang nila sa biktima na siya ay Intelligence ng kasundaluhan, na pinasinungalingan din ng kanyang asawa. Narekober din nila ng dalawang (2) bala ng Cal. 45, apat (4) na basyo ng Cal. 40, isang (1) Black leather holster at tatlong (3) bala ng hindi pa malamang kalibre.

Dahil dito, nagbuklod-buklod ang  mga mamamayan ng Tinoc, Ifugao na pinamumunuan ng alkalde na si  Hon. Samson Benito kung saan nagsagawa sila ng Indignation Rally bilang pagkondena, pagpakita ng sakit ng loob at pagpapatalsik sa mga teroristang CPP-NPA kasama ang kanilang mga Front Organizations sa kanilang ginawang krimen, noong ika-4 ng Marso 2020. Ang nasabing Indignation Rally ay sinuportahan at dinaluhan naman ng mga iba’t-ibang indibidual mual sa Local Government Units, Local Governmnet Agencies (LGAs), at mga grupo ng mga katutubo mula sa Bayan ng Tinoc na sinuportahan naman ng mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan.

Ang mga katutubong Ifugao ay hinamon ang mga miyembro ng oranganisasyong Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) at ang Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) na nagsasabing ipinaglalaban ang mga karapatang ng mga maralita upang ipakita ang malasakit at supportahan ang pagkondena sa walang-awang pagkitil sa biktima ng mga Teroristang Komunistang NPA kay Joseph  Calabson,  ngunit ni isa sa kanila ay walang nagpakita at nagsalita upang iparamdam ang kanilang presensya at sinsabing ipinaglalaban ang karapatan ng mga mahihirap at naaapi.

Samantala, ipinapabatid naman ni MGen Pablo M Lorenzo AFP, Commander, 5th Infantry (Star) Division ang kanilang lubos na pakikidalamhati sa pamilya ng biktima. “Ang buong kasundaluhan ng 5th Infantry (Star) Division kasama ang aming pamilya ay lubos na nakikiramay at nakikidalamhati sa pamilya ng biktima. Ito ay isa na namang pagpapakita na ang mga Komunistang NPA at ang kanilang Front Organization ay mga mamamatay tao (murderers) at nagwawasak ng pamilya pati kinabukasan ng mga maralita, kung kaya’t dapat pagtutulungan upang wakasan ang kanilang mga karahasan. Asahan niyo po na hindi titigil ang pamunuan ng 5th Infantry Division, kasama ang ating kapulisan upang tugisin ang mga Teroristang NPA na responsible sa walang-awang pagkitil ng buhay at pagwasak ng pamilya ni Joseph Calabson. Ngunit kailangan namin ang tulong at kooperasyon ng bawat isa sa pagganap namin ng aming mandato upang tuluyang wakasan ang presensya ng Teroristang NPA sa lalawigan ng Ifugao at mapabilis ang paghatid ng hustisya kay Joseph at iba pang naging biktima ng karahasan ng CPP-NPA at ng kanilang Front Organizations sa inyong lugar.”

Contact No: 0916-350-1048

Army at SMI-NCIP nagsagawa ng kauna-unahang Indigenous People Youth Leadership Summit

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela – Ang 95th Infantry (Salaknib) Battalion, 5th Infantry Division at San Mariano, Isabela National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) na pinangunahan ni Mr Zosimo I Soriano ay nagsagawa ng kauna-unahang Indigenous People (IP) Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) na may temang: “Kinabukasan ng mga Batang Katutubo ay Hubugin at Paunlarin,” sa  98 kabataang katutubong tribu ng Agta at Kalinga mula sa San Mariano, Isabela na isa sa mga apektado at biktima ng CPP-NPA Insurhensiya na naganap sa Headquarters, 5th Infantry (Star) Division, Camp Melchor F Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela noong ika-28 Pebrero hanggang ika-2 ng Marso 2020.

Ayon kay Lt Col Gladiuz C Calilan, Battalion Commander, 95IB, ang layunin ng tatlong araw na aktibidad ay upang hindi lamang mabigyan ng tamang importansya kundi matanggal sa kanilang isipan ang diskriminasyon bilang mga kabataang katutubo, maibahagi at mabigyan ng tunay na gabay kung paano sila maging isang produktibong kabataan at mamamayan sa kanilang lugar, at maturuan ng tamang impormasyon at direksiyon para hindi mahikayat ng Terroristang Komunistang NPA sapagkat karamihan sa kanila ay target ng pagsasamantala (recruitment) ng nasabing teroristang grupo sa bayan ng San Mariano.

“Kabilang din dito sa unang “IP-YLS” ang isang katutubong menor-de-edad na bikitima ng terroristang NPA bilang isang “Child Warrior” na nasagip ng ating mga kasundaluhan at ang mga anak at kamag-anak ng mga namulat sa katotohanan na Former Rebels (FRs) na tinalikuran ang walang patunguhang pakikibaka at bumalik sa ating gobyerno,” dagdag pa ni LTC Calilan.

Samantala, ipinahayag naman ni BGen Laurence E Mina AFP, Brigade Commander, 502nd Infantry (Liberator) Brigade, ang kanyang pasasalamat sa lahat ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng ating gobyerno na naging katuwang ng mga kasundaluhan kasama lalo na ang National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) dahil sa taos-pusong suporta sa pagsasagawa ng nasabing aktibidad para sa mga kabataang katutubo ng San Mariano, Isabela.

Sa kabilang banda, nagpasalamat naman si Ms Marivic Bugina Sumisim, Sangguniang Bayan Member ng San Mariano, Isabela, Chairman on Indigenous People, na nagsilbing Guest of Honor and Speaker, sa lahat ng mga kasundaluhan dahil sa pagmamahal at walang sawang pagtulong sa mga taga-San Mariano, Isabela lalo na sa paghubog sa magandang kinabukasan ng mga katutubong kabataan sa kanilang bayan.

Binigyang puri naman ni MGen Pablo M Lorenzo AFP, Commander, 5ID, ang lahat ng “organizers at facilitators” pati na rin sa mga miyembro ng NCIP at Local na Pamahalaan ng San Mariano, Isabela sa nasabing matagumpay na pinaka-unang IP Youth Leadership Summit. “Hinihikayat ko po ang lahat na tayo’y magtulungan na hubugin ang mga kabataan sa tamang landas upang magiging magandang halimbawa bilang mga pag-asa at kinabukasan ng ating bayan sa darating pang mga henerasyon.”

Another group of CPP-NPA Supporters Abondon their Support to the Armed Struggle

81IB, STA CRUZ, ILOCOS SUR – The withdrawal of support by the people the province against the CPP-NPA Terrorist Groups continues as a total of 47 members of the Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) resurfaced and voluntarily surrendered to the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion at Brgy Bugbuga, Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur yesterday, and February 18, 2020. Accordingly, this is due to their enhanced awareness on the ills and deception of the CNTs as well as their renewed commitment to support the Peace and Development efforts of the government.

The 47 UGMO members are composed of two (2) Militiang Bayan (MB), four (4) Kabataang Makabayan (KM), eleven (11) Pambansang Kilusan ng Magsasaka (PKM) from Brgy Lucbuban, six (6) Brgy Liason Group (BLG) from Brgy Ubbog, and eight (8) Brgy Liason Group (BLG) from Brgy Sorioan, all from the municipalities of Salcedo while sixteen (16) members of the Organizing Group (OG) came from Sitio Kinpatubbog, Brgy Poblacion, Suyo, all of Ilocos Sur. Reorientation briefing were provided to said group, in cooperation with the 2nd Civil-Military Operations Company.

On the other hand, personnel from Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) – Ilocos Sur were also in attendance and briefed the UGMO members the different skills training that they can avail. Staffs from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of Region 1 and Vigan City were also present and distributed food packs, dignity kits, hygiene packs and Financial Assistance to each individual.   Personnel from the PNP Municipal Police Stations of the Sta Cruz and Suyo also joined in the conduct of re-orientation briefing and lectures.

Ka Ito, a sitio leader states that, “Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga naibigay sa amin na tulong mula sa DSWD. Malaki ang pakinabang nitong pag-anyaya sa amin ng Philippine Army. At sa mga kapatid ko dyan, kung yayain man nila kayo sa mga ganitong okasyon ay huwag kayong matakot upang sa gayon ay maliwanagan ang inyong kaisipan. Maganda itong mga ginagawa ng mga kapatid nating mga sundalo sa atin dahil ito ay para sa ikabubuti natin at ng mga susunod pang henerasyon at nagpapasalamat din kami sa mga tulong na galing sa ating Pangulo at sa kanyang maayos na pamahalaan, sana po ay ito na ang taon ng pagbabago at naway sa susunod na taon ay wala ng mga kapatid natin sa kabilang panig at sana ay magbalik loob na sila sa pamahalaan”.

Lt Col Rodrigo A Mariñas Jr INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of 81IB also said that, “The successive influx of former CNT supporters in the province of Ilocos Sur is a manifestation of enlightenment and the acceptance of the waning influence of the CNTs. The people have already spoken that this insurgency problem must already end and their withdrawal of support against the CNTs is a manifestation of their contribution to the Whole of Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in the province.”

Localized peace talks will help uplift lives of CPP-NPA members – OPAPP

PASIG CITY (13 FEBRUARY 2020) – The conduct of localized peace engagements (LPEs) across the country aims to put an end to the decades-long communist insurgency in the country by directly addressing the needs of the rebels themselves.

According to Assistant Secretary Wilben M. Mayor, chief of staff and spokesperson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), there is a growing disconnect between the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) and their people in the frontlines who are actually suffering the most from the armed conflict.

“Hindi tugma yung buhay nung mga nasa taas at sa baba. ‘Yung mga nasa baba nararanasan nila yung hirap, samantalang ‘yung mga nasa taas, alam naman nating nasa ibang bansa sila, nabubuhay sila ng marangya,” Mayor said during a live phone patch interview this morning.

(There is a disconnect between those in the CPP leadership and those on the ground. The ones on the ground face hardship, while the people up the ladder, they are abroad, and they live comfortably.)

Mayor stressed that in case the peace talks between the Philippine government and the CPP-NPA-NDFP resumes, the Red should not impose preconditions which go against the Constitution.

“Localized peace engagements prove that peaceful dialogue and consultation with the rebel group can be conducted without violating the Constitution,” he said.

LPE means convergence

Localized peace engagements is one of the 12 clusters of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the multi-agency body created by virtue of Executive Order No. 70 or the “Whole-of-Nation Approach.”

Since its implementation in 2019, LPEs have made a significant impact on the peace and security situation of communities in Central Luzon, Davao and Zamboanga Peninsula regions where hundreds of CPP-NPA members have returned to the folds of the law.

OPAPP, which is the co-lead agency along with the Department of Interior and Local Government for the LPE cluster, is carrying out various interventions across the country, with the help of partner agencies and organizations, in order to better respond to issues and concerns affecting residents in conflict-ridden communities.

These include the conduct of forums involving the youth, labor and Indiegenous Peoples (IPs) sectors, provision of immediate cash assistance and livelihood interventions to former rebels, continuous consultations with families of combatants, and the protection of industries from CPP-NPA infiltration.

Peace through dialogue

Mayor said the conduct of LPEs aims to empower local government units, as it brings the government closer to the people through the more timely and efficient delivery of much-needed services.

“Ang mga local officials talaga ang frontline natin dito, ang mga governors, mayors, at actually marami na tayong mga local officials na active dito, lalong lalo na sa Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, at iba pang mga bahagi [ng bansa],” Mayor said.

(Our local officials are on the frontline here, the governors, mayors and other officials, especially in Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro, as well as in other places.)

By responding to the needs of the rebels and their families, he pointed out that LPEs promote good governance and more importantly, allow people to be part of the peacebuilding process.

“Mostly talaga ang focus natin ay yung mga tao dun sa komunidad, dahil ang nakikita natin, karamihan, ang nagiging cause nga nito ay yung mga issue ng pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan,” Mayor said.

(Our focus mostly are the people in the communities, because we see that their issues and concerns are born out of their most basic needs.)

Mayor assured rebels who wish to surrender and avail of the government’s livelihood programs that they are welcome to do so and have no reason to be afraid.

“Kung sino ‘yung willing at voluntary naman na makikipag-usap sa atin, ayun ang ating ineentertain, ina-accommodate kung anong pangangailangan (We accomodate the needs of whoever comes to us willingly and voluntarily.),” Mayor said.

No need for armed violence

As the government agency tasked to implement a comprehensive peace process across the country, OPAPP continues to strengthen its efforts in finding a long-lasting solution to the armed rebellion, Mayor said.

He said that the agency is offering its hand of peace to the rebels, but they must also show reciprocity on their part and stop carrying out acts of violence against the people.

“We recall the incidents of armed violence of the NPA last December, despite the agreed ceasefire. We refer to the continued recruitment of our youth in schools through the CPP-NPA-NDFP’s legal front organizations. If they want peace, let us talk peace, but stop the violence,” Mayor said.

“Wala naman po sigurong isang mamamayan na ayaw ng kapayapaan,” (There probably is no person who does not seek peace), he added.