Butuan City
April 12, 2022

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte stressed the importance of the remaining months of his Presidency with regards to the country’s five (5) decades-long struggle against communist insurgency when he presided over the Joint Meeting of the National Task Force – Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF-ELCAC) in the Caraga Administrative Region (CARAGA).

“The three remaining months of my Administration are very crucial as we continue to address the country’s problems that have long been affecting the lives of our citizens,” President Duterte keynoted in his remarks delivered in Butuan City.

“The completion of my commitments towards achieving peace, progress and prosperity remains critical as my term comes to a close,” he added.

Region XIII, more commonly called as CARAGA, is historically considered to be among the hotbeds of communism in the country. In 2016, there were 11 Guerilla Fronts (GFs) in the Region, wherein four (4) still remain to be active and three (3) are nearly dismantled.

Moreover, government forces were able to neutralize 978 regulars of the New People’s Army (NPA), including 37 high-ranking members, and seized 290 firearms in the process.

On the status of the Barangay Development Program (BDP), NTF-ELCAC’s flagship program, about 191 barangays were provided with different projects that included 359 infrastructure and non-infrastructure priority projects in 2021 for Region XIII. For this year, another 94 barangays were added as recipients of the program.

“Accessibility to reform and welfare programs is imperative — it should be are [our] imperative — to help end the decades-long insurgency problem that has curtailed developments in the countryside,” said the Chief Executive, expressing his optimism for the NTF-RTF-ELCAC as its members continue to collectively work on resolving insurgency through a whole-of-nation approach.

“To the national and local partners of this particular endeavor, be assured of the Administration’s unrelenting gratitude and support for your initiatives towards securing lasting peace and understanding among our people,” President Duterte remarked.

He likewise urged local chief executives in CARAGA to synergize their efforts against lawlessness and insurgency. Prior to his speech, the President led the ceremonial awarding of various government projects to beneficiaries that included Former Rebels (FRs) and members of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

* * *