President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has no intention to abolish the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the National Security Council said Saturday.
In a press statement, NSC Assistant Director-General Jonathan Malaya said, "Nowhere does it state in Executive Order No. 23 that the NTF ELCAC will be abolished or dismantled."
Malaya said two Executive issuances relate to different topics. He said EO 23 protects the freedom of association and the right to organize while EO 70, which created the NTF ELCAC, relates to the institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach to attaining sustainable peace as well as the adoption of a national peace framework.
"As Chair of the NTF ELCAC, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is firmly committed to the whole of nation approach to finally ending Communist terrorism in the country and he, in fact, has directed the Task Force to intensify its efforts since we have already attained strategic victory over the CPP-NPA-NDF," he said.
Malaya added that 75% of all NPA guerilla fronts had been dismantled, while only 22 of the original 89 fronts still exist.
Out of the 22 remaining guerilla fronts, he said 20 are already weakened due to the neutralization of their leaders and members, while the two others are now the subject of focused military operations and development initiatives by the NTF-ELCAC.
"The President's marching orders to the NTF ELCAC is clear: Sustain the whole-of-nation approach to peace and development to prevent Communist terrorists, their front organizations, and other lawless elements from recruiting, regrouping, and regaining power," he added.
Malaya further noted that Marcos directed the Task Force and the Local Government Units "to continue working together to seize the gains in the regions and ensure that we carry this momentum towards total victory over Communist terrorism under his administration". —Sherylin Untalan/KG, GMA Integrated News