Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Northern Luzon Command Commander Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. visited the headquarters of Joint Task Force (JTF) Kaugnay and Joint Task Group (JTG) Agila in Nueva Ecija on January 28, 2022, to personally convey his guidance in the campaign in ending the local communist armed conflict.
Lt. Gen. Torres was accorded with the traditional full military honors by the officers and men of JTF Kaugnay led by Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo and JTG Agila Commander Col. Norwin Pasamonte. As part of his visit, Lt. Gen. Torres had the opportunity to personally give his guidance to the troops via face-to-face and video-teleconferencing.
In his talks, Lt. Gen. Torres urged the unit commanders and personnel to double their operational momentum and intensify efforts to completely decimate the remnants of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and other threats.
“President Duterte gave us the marching order to finish the local communist armed conflict by the end of his term this June 2022. Let’s continue to press on our campaign to eliminate the remaining communist terrorists,” said Lt. Gen. Torres.
“Let’s continue to engage and work with different agencies under the Task Forces on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF ELCAC) and our stakeholders in our area of operations to ensure that we are able to address the issues in local communities that Communist terrorist groups use to exploit as part of their manipulative ploys to deceive the people,“ Lt. Gen. Torres added as he emphasized the importance of the military’s Community Support Programs (CSPs) as a progressive and sustainable campaign that would address the root causes of internal conflict.
Moreso, Lt. Gen. Torres furthered that “the military will ensure that all Communist terrorists who return to the fold of the law will be given a chance to be reintegrated to mainstream society through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).”
ECLIP is a flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to address social healing and national unity toward the higher objective of attaining a just and lasting peace. It has a wide array of benefits based on the particular needs of the former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan and their families through the convergence of the national and local government agencies.
Afterward, Lt. Gen. Torres expressed his gratitude to the Kaugnay and Agila troopers for their successive peace campaign accomplishments.
Since January 1 this year, JTF Kaugnay was instrumental in facilitating the voluntary surrender of 61 Communist Terrorists Group (CTG) members and supporters, discovery of two (2) arms and food caches of the enemy, and recovery of 5 low-powered and 7 high-powered firearms.
“I commend the JTF Kaugnay for your dedication, passion, and sacrifices in accomplishing your tasks of bringing lasting peace and ending communist terrorism in Regions 1 and 3,” said Lt. Gen. Torres.
“As your commander, let us continue to march in cadence with the Filipino people to attain the national vision: Para sa isang matatag, maginhawa at panatag na pamumuhay para sa bawat Pilipino,” Lt. Gen. Torres added.