Western Visayas ELCAC urges NPA rebels in Panay to surrender

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The Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF6-ELCAC) has urged remnants of the Communist Party of the Philippines New People’s Army National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in Panay to put down their arms, return home, and live in peace.

In a statement posted on Tuesday, lawyer Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokesperson of the RTF6-ELCAC, claimed the rebels’ days are numbered and that their attempt to destroy the government will never succeed.

“The government will subdue and neutralize the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization with overwhelming force,” he said.

On December 1, the 301st Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA) carried out a successful operation in Barangay Alimodias in Miagao, Iloilo, which resulted in the killing of nine terrorists under the Southern Front of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The task force thanked the Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units, barangay officials, and members of the public for their contributions to the operation’s success.

The task force joined families in criticizing the Communist-NPA-Terrorists (CNTs) who recruited their minor children as they expressed condolences and prayers to the families of those who died.

According to the testimonials of their separate families, two of the identified deceased were just 17 years old when they were recruited to the movement.

Meanwhile, the task force warned critics of the military operations that they were not in a position to dictate the Armed Forces of the Philippines on how they should combat the war on terror.

“On the Miagao encounter on December 1, 2021, this is one thing certain, the ground commanders ensured that no lives will be lost among their troops, hence, they used all available resources to ensure a tactical victory with zero losses among their men. For those who cannot accept this fact, you must realize by now that armed struggle against the government is hopeless, futile, and quixotic,” he said.

He went on to say that the national task force ELCAC will be at the vanguard of a whole-of-nation strategy to addressing the insurgency’s core cause.

“Our reliance on good governance by bringing much needed infrastructure and basic services to geographically isolated and then conflict-stricken barangays will break the backbone of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist organization,” he said.

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