RTF-ELCAC Northern Mindanao officially Launched; Vows to end insurgency

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – A “super body” who will lead, synchronize and harmonize government efforts of combating and crushing the local communist armed conflict in Region 10 was officially launched during the Northern Mindanao Joint Regional Development Council (RDC)-Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Full Councils Meeting yesterday, June 28, 2019 at the Kaamulan Open Theater, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The launching marked another milestone especially that the Regional Task Force will oversee the implementation of President Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or the “Whole-of-Nation (WNA) Approach” to end local communist armed conflict in Northern Mindanao. As early as March 2019, NEDA 10 in partnership with 4th ID, 403rd Infantry Brigade, DILG 10, Balay Mindanaw and other significant stakeholders signed a memorandum and passed a resolution creating the RTF-ELCAC TWG and conducted series of conferences and meetings leading to the formulation and finalization of Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev). CAPDev is now the banner program of Region 10 to operationalize EO 70 and address the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and other forms of armed conflict and threats through sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages in poor, conflict affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. Several proposed programs and projects based on identified needs will now be implemented in CAPDev areas.

The joint RDC-RPOC Full Councils Meeting was graced by the presence of the presiding officer, Sec Jose Ruperto Martin M Andanar, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Northern Mindanao together with Engr. Modesto Babaylan Jr. Co-Chairperson RDC-10, RPOC-10 Chairperson Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City. Also present were Usec Rufino S Lopez, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff, National Security Council (NSC), Asec Manuel Felix, DILG, Asec Lorenzo Clavejo, NSC, Lt Gen Felimon T Santos Jr, Commander EastMinCom, Dir. Mylah Faye Aurora B Cariño, NEDA-10, Maj Gen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Dir. Arnel M Agabe, DILG-10, PBGen Rafael Santiago Jr, RD, PRO10, Vice Gov Rogelio Quiño, Bukidnon and other Regional Directors of the different government agencies.

Mayor Moreno during his message emphasized, “RPOC is committed to do our job and our role in ending insurgency in Northern Mindanao. What we did is that we merged the two councils (RDC-RPOC 10), who with unity, will focus on peace and development because teamwork is what we need right now in order to finally achieve peace in the region.”

On his part, Sec Andanar stated, “Let us continue with our thrust of finally putting an end to the local communist armed conflict in Northern Mindanao. I am confident that with the unity of the RPOC-RDC Councils, we will be able to attain inclusive and sustainable peace and development in Region 10.”

On his statement Maj Gen Gacal said, “We assure our partner agencies and our stakeholders of 4ID’s full commitment and support to the RTF-ELCAC Northern Mindanao. This is an opportunity for all of us to move swiftly and effectively towards our collective goal of attaining lasting, inclusive and sustainable peace and development.” “We continue to call on the peace-loving people of Region 10, let our common aspiration become our drive for unity and convergence. Through our Community Support Programs, we will strive to facilitate the conduct of focused, coordinated and sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages to poor, conflict-affected, and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas”, Gacal added.

It can recalled that the joint RDC-RPOC Full Councils Meeting took place right after the official launching of the CAPDev program in Brgy. Iba, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon yesterday. According to NSC officials, RTF ELCAC Region 10 as the “super body”, with CAPDev as its banner program, will become the template for other regions.