CEBU CITY, Oct. 18 (PIA) -- Officials working to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) in the three regions in Visayas recently convened to discuss their activities, plans, and accomplishments since Pres. Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 70.
This is the third major island group summit after Luzon on Oct. 14, 2019 and Mindanao on Oct. 10, 2019.
This is in preparation for the national summit that will be attended by the President.
Each Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in the three regions presented their accomplishments and challenges in the implementation of their ELCAC plans at the national, regional, and cluster levels.
Executive Order 70
Sec. Hermogenes Esperon, who sits as the vice-chairperson of the National Task Force (NTF) ELCAC, recalled how they came to this point.
He said the President called for peace talks with the national government and the national democratic fronts for peace talks with the aim of achieving a settlement that is just and lasting.
"During the course of the peace talks, we could not come to an agreement to have a bilateral ceasefire," Esperon said.
He added in the course of the talks, there had been an increase in atrocities done by the the rebel group such as continuing violent incidents and encounters with the civilian and military, burning of equipment in the countryside, and demanding illegal taxation from companies and even farmers.
"It came to a point when the President decided in November 2017 to terminate the peace talks," Esperon said.
Subsequently, in December 2017, the President issued a proclamation declaring the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.
In June 2018, Esperon said the President finally ended the peace talk after the last time that the National Democratic Front insisted on their comprehensive agreement on socio-economic reforms proposal which suggests a coalition government.
In the security cluster, Esperon said that they then started to create plans, workshops, and meeting for a proposal to end insurgency which was then approved by the President.
What followed was the issuance of EO 70, calling for an end to insurgency and providing a framework for peace talks in December 2018.
Now there are 12 clusters for the NTF ELCAC led by military and civilian authorities with a common goal of achieving sustainable development for all and an insurgency-free nation. (fan/pia7)