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Work continues to end communism by 2022: Andanar

March 05, 2021 - Friday 8:03 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar. (File photo)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar vowed Friday that the government would strive harder to end insurgency in the country before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office in 2022.

Andanar made the commitment in a keynote speech delivered during the joint meeting of the National Task Force (NTF) and Regional Task Force (RTF) to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental.

“The work continues and must be pursued with greater commitment and passion as the deadline set by the President, President Duterte, to ELCAC is by 2022. Less than 15 months na lang (We only have 15 months to do that). So to be exact, less than one year from now,” Andanar, who also led the NTF-ELCAC’s communications team, said.

Created through Executive Order 70 inked by Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018, the NTF-ELCAC is directed to implement the National Peace Framework which contains principles, policies, plans, and programs aimed at addressing the root causes of insurgencies and bringing inclusive and sustainable peace.

Andanar guaranteed that the government would deliver its promise to maintain peace and order throughout the country.

Despite the challenges the country is facing amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the government’s efforts to address communist insurgency remain relentless, Andanar said.

“The pandemic has brought out the best in us, the compassion, the bayanihan (teamwork) spirit of generosity, and sharing of resources among us. Let us sustain this and prioritize the lagging areas and most vulnerable ones,” Andanar said.

Andanar’s assurance came, as acknowledged that the whole-of-nation approach to end local communism has become instrumental in the return of hundreds of communist insurgents in different parts of the region to the fold of the law.

He also stressed that the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) has transformed the once conflict-affected areas into “peaceful and productive communities.”

“I want to highlight that the barangay development program is very strategic with our CAPDev program which is our way to revisit and reorient ourselves on who and where our enemies operate,” Andanar said.

The CAPDev is a program that aims to address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and other armed conflicts and threats.

The CAPDev program also promotes the establishment of durable peace and development and empowers communities in priority areas through peace-building and reconciliation, good governance and institution building, and socio-economic transformation.

Andanar, designated as Northern Mindanao’s Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security, likewise lauded the improved access to basic services, provision of infrastructure facilities, and livelihood opportunities to the various convergence projects in conflict-afflicted, poverty-stricken, and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the region.

“These resulted in the substantial reduction in Region 10’s poverty from 32.3 percent among families in 2015 to 17.3 percent in 2018,” he said. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos