MANILA – The Philippines will be a better place to live if the government's problem with local insurgency will continue to subside, Senator Ronald Dela Rosa said on Thursday.
During the Sustainable Livelihood Program distribution at SB Park, Quezon City, he asked for the support of the people, saying eradicating local insurgency will entail an improvement in the lives of each Filipino.
"Bantayan po ninyo ang inyong mga anak lalong-lalo na yung mga nag-aaral dahil grabe ang (Let us guard our children especially those who are at schools because they have intensified their) recruitment nila [New People's Army (NPA)] ngayon sa mga eskwelahan. Kawawa ang mga anak natin. Nawala, akala niyo kung saan nagpunta. Yun pala na-recruit na nila (now in schools. Our children will be pitiful. They will be gone and we don't know where they went. Then suddenly, we'll discover that they were recruited)," he told residents.
The lawmaker was with Senator Christopher Lawrence Go at the event.
Dela Rosa is pushing for a measure to institutionalize the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) through his Senate Bill No. 200 or the ELCAC Act.
During the recent hearing of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation, the former chief of the Philippine National Police said he saw a "glimmer of hope" when NTF-ELCAC was formed.
“Sabi nga namin nu’ng teniente pa kami (We said when we were still lieutenants), ‘What kind of war is this? Tayo lang pinabayaan ng gobyerno makipag giyera, makipag patayan sa mga (We are being left alone by the government to fight against) NPA. They’re sitting in their chair, inside their office, nagpapalamig lang sa opisina. Kami doon sa (just cooling off in the office. We are there in the) field, kami ang nakipagpatayan. Kami ang nasasaktan, kami ang nahihirapan (we are the ones who fight. We are the ones who hurt and struggle),” Dela Rosa said.
“Areas formerly known to be communist-infested are now thriving and enjoying their peaceful communities. With the accomplishments of the NTF-ELCAC, many problems in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas were resolved, which greatly helped in neutralizing the CPP-NPA,” he added.
The NTF-ELCAC was created in December 2018 under Executive Order No. 70 of then President Rodrigo Duterte.