'Localized peace talks' priority of Duterte admin: Nograles
January 26, 2020 - Sunday 6:01 PM by PNAENDING ARMED CONFLICTS. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, in a press conference on Thursday (January 23) in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, says the Duterte administration is determined to end the communist insurgency through localized peace talks. He also underscored the importance of implementing the government's economic programs and other basic services in conflict-affected areas. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)
BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur – Localized peace talks with the communist rebel movement is among the priorities of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to attain the objectives of its "whole-of-nation" approach to end local communist armed conflicts (ELCAC).
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said among the approaches to effectively carry out localized peace talks is to convince New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to lay down their arms and go back to the fold of the law.
“A number of NPA rebels already heeded the call of the government to surrender by providing them the support they need through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP,” Nograles in a press conference Thursday here, where he presided over the fourth regular meeting of the Regional Task Force of ELCAC in Caraga Region.
Most of those who surrendered have availed of livelihood support through the E-CLIP and other benefits provided by various agencies of the government, he said.
“With the increase of the number of rebels and supporters who surrendered to the government, the NPA now has lost the support of the masses,” Nograles said, adding that the communist movement in the country has "lost the cause that they have been fighting for."
“The people now benefit from the programs and services of the government. With these benefits they also realize that it is better to support the government and the administration of President Duterte,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Caraga, particularly the Army's 402nd and 401st Brigades, reported that a total of 3,424 NPA rebels have surrendered in 2019. PNA
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