DAYS after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) discovered the Red October plot of the CPP/NDF/NPA, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has declared its support for the AFP’s call for the creation of an Inter-agency Task Force to quell the communist insurgency.
DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that nipping communist recruitment in the bud entails a whole-of-government approach in order to address the socio-politico-economic problems that threaten the stability of the country.
“The government is cognizant that effectively ending insurgency requires not only police and military response but necessitates a triad of development, governance and security efforts,” he stated
Año added that he concurs with AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. that civilian agencies and other stakeholders must be aware of and integrated in the whole-of-government strategy of quashing communist recruitment.
Insurgency is rooted in poverty, inequality, and grievances that could be addressed by respective mandates of various government institutions. We have all the mechanisms to face these issues but all government agencies have to perform our roles in a concerted manner,” he pointed out.
The DILG Chief, who is a former AFP Chief of Staff, says that communist insurgency is not primarily a military or police problem but a ‘governance problem.’ “In fact we are are winning the battle in the mountains.
There are so many surrenderers now. It’s in the propaganda war and parliamentary battle that we are loosing. The National Task Force will ensure that other government agencies help the DND and DILG in this effort,” he said.
He stressed that civilian government agencies must be aware of the real situation and fulfill their mandates so as to prevent build-up of public grievances that communist terrorist rebels exploit to stir anti-government sentiments such as corruption, price hikes, and labor sector and Indigenous Peoples concerns.
Communists are using as propaganda the inefficacies of government to advance their aspiration of toppling democracy. Thus all instrumentalities of the government have to recognize their role in addressing this urgent and long standing problem,” Ano said.
He assured that the DILG is instilling good governance among local government units (LGUs) who are at the forefront of public service delivery.
Ano also assured there is no need for a loyalty check among the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) “whose allegiance is to the Constitution and the people.”
“The DILG and the Department of National Defense (DND), as well as the PNP and AFP, are one in preserving the stability of the state. Our police and soldiers are ruled by law and accountable to the sovereign people only,” he said.