PDP-Laban calls on Marcos to activate NTF-ELCAC, reject peace talks with Sison
Former President Rodrigo Duterte’s party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) Thursday called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to fully activate the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) and to reject peace talks with Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) and instead prioritize the local peace talks with local rebel leaders.
In a resolution read by PDP Laban Vice Chairman Alfonso Cusi during its 2022 National Assembly and 40th-anniversary celebration, the PDP Laban National Assembly presided by Duterte urged Marcos to focus on the local peace engagement with local leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) instead of having peace talks with its chairman, Jose Maria Sison and his cohorts.
In the same Assembly, the party elected Palawan Rep. Jose Alvarez as the new PDP Laban President replacing former Secretary Alfonso Cusi. Duterte remains as the party’s chairman.
Senator Robin Padilla was also elected executive vice president, the No 2 position in the party. Senator Ronald De La Rosa was also elected PDP Laban vice president for Mindanao.
The party believes that the national peace talks have been deceptively used by the CTGs to strengthen their forces, initiate recruitment, and regain their numbers.
In the resolution, the party warned Marcos that “the CPP-NPA-NDF, through its front organizations, has deceived the government and been able to infiltrate various offices and institutions in government and radicalize and recruit students, teachers, indigenous peoples, and even government workers in their desire to overthrow the duly constituted government and establish a Communist state.”
The party appealed to “President Marcos in his capacity as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and National Police, to fully activate the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC)” and capitalize on the gains brought by its various programs.
The party believed that the NTF-ELCAC is the most viable solution to the decades-long problem of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and other armed conflicts, and to achieve sustainable and inclusive peace.
The PDP Laban said that through the NTF-ELCAC, “the national government has gained the full support of all local government units against the CPP-NPA-NDF.”
Based on the resolution, the PDP Laban stated that through the Localized Peace Engagements and the Barangay Development Program, the NTF-ELCAC has been successful in bringing peace and development to remote and isolated barangays that were previously ravaged and threatened by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The NTF-ELCAC was formed on December 4, 2018, when former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach for attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.
In the same resolution, the party also expressed its full support to the “new petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) which seeks to declare the CPP-NPA-NDF as terrorist organizations under the Anti-Terrorism Act.”
This is in response to the decision of a Manila court that denied the petition for proscription of the DoJ against the CPP-NPA on February 21, 2018 to declare them as terrorist groups under Section 17 of Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007.
PDP Laban said that “the court decision does not and will not change the fact that the CPP-NPA-NDF is a terrorist organization that is responsible for the commission of thousands of atrocities and crimes against the Filipino people for the past 53 years.”
The party stated that the CPP-NPA has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. While, the NDF has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973.
“The CPP-NPA-NDF have committed 1,617 violations of the International Humanitarian Laws from 2010 to the first semester of 2021. These IHL violations include 309 incidents of willful killings, 199 incidents of using anti-personnel mines , 560 incidents of children involved in armed conflict, 542 incidents of destruction of properties, and seven other IHL violations,” the PDP Laban resolution read. PDP-Laban