WITH the establishment of a new national task force (TF) to end the decades-old communist insurgency problem, President Duterte has given his administration another boost in the eyes of the Filipino people.
The creation of the “National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict” is a welcome development in the protracted conflict between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Under Executive Order (EO) 70, Duterte heads the TF tasked to craft and implement a National Peace Framework (NPF) that will include development and peace-building initiatives in conflict-affected areas.
The order also authorizes the new peace task force to formulate and start implementing the NPF that includes a mechanism for localized peace talks NPA rebels in the next six months.
Actually, EO No. 70 institutionalizes the “whole-of-nation approach” as a government policy in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace across this Third World nation of more than 106 million people.
Note that the hard-hitting Chief Executive from Davao City, a former state prosecutor, and CPP-New People’s Army (NPA) founder Prof. Jose Ma. Sison of Ilocos Sur have been talking tough.
In setting up the 20-member task force, President Duterte underscored the need to reframe and refocus the government policy for achieving inclusive and sustainable peace.
This, the government will do by recognizing that insurgencies, internal disturbances, tensions and other armed conflicts and threats are not only military and security concerns.
They are also symptomatic of broader social, economic and historical problems such as poverty, historical injustice, social inequality and lack of inclusivity, according to the EO.
We throw our support behind the creation of the new TF as part of government efforts to end the leftist insurgency.