PRESIDENT Duterte will convene key officials of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) and preside over the joint command conference of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today (November 18), apparently to assess the progress of the campaign against communist insurgency.
The scheduled meeting was disclosed on Sunday by National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., the vice chairman of the NTF-Elcac. Esperon added that the President is also expected to issue additional orders to officials, including those from the PNP, and the PNP to accelerate the anti-communist strategy.
Duterte had been eyeing to end the insurgency by the end of his term through the Elcac, which is being implemented at the local level through various task forces.
Esperon added that the meeting will be attended by Cabinet officials responsible for development and security, the heads of regional peace and order councils, the regional development councils and top officials of the PNP and the AFP.
“The joint NTF-Elcac and the AFP-PNP Command Conference will serve as a platform for the President to provide guidance on strengthening convergence efforts among all the instrumentalities of the government in his ongoing directive to enhance existing mechanisms of good government,” Esperon said.
“The President had repeatedly called on members of his administration to address the economic and security concerns in conflict-prone and conflict-affected areas,” he added.
The national security adviser said the President was very committed in ending the atrocities of the communist group through the whole-of-nation approach.
Meanwhile, the Army’s 703rdInfantry Brigade said that elements of the Army’s 91st Infantry Battalion clashed with 20 members of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya Sierra Madre at Barangay Dimanayat, San Luis, Aurora, on Saturday, wounding several rebels and recovering an M-16 rifle and 4 gallons of rice.
The encounter followed a similar firefight between the 84th Infantry Battalion and rebels at Barangay Estrella, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, wherein two rebels were killed and an unknown number were captured.
The soldiers also recovered five firearms, two Motorola radios, 17 magazines for various types of firearms, mobile phones and rebel documents.