Surigao City launches TF-ELCAC in Former Guerilla Base

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Placer, Surigao del Norte – After the fall of GF16B due to the mass surrender of key leaders and supporters, the Local Government Unit of Surigao City launched the City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC) at Sitio Brazil, Barangay Mat-i, Surigao City on 22 January 2020.

Sitio Brazil, Barangay
Mat-i of Surigao City is formerly known as a CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) stronghold. It can be recalled that Guerilla Front 16B (GF16B) which is led by Pablo Alcansar Logatiman aka Lukas, a native of Sitio Tugunan, Mabini, Surigao City, celebrated the CPP anniversary in said area last on December 2016.

The relentless efforts of Team SDN led by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, its municipal and barangay level LGUs, National Line Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, the 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion and the whole police force in the province led by the SDN Provincial Police Office, key leaders of GF16B like Commander RD and Commander NO NAME, and their Political Officer alyas Wella, surrendered last year. Their surrender further led to the surrender of other NPA regulars as well as members of the underground mass organizations of GF16B.

To sustain these gains, Team SDN further institutionalized its whole-of-nation convergence through the launching of the TF ELCAC of Surigao City in Sitio Brazil, Mat-I. This simple but very symbolic event was led by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto “Estong” Matugas Jr, together with the SC Council, Barangay Mat-i BLGU, SC offices, National Line Agencies, SC Police Office,
and the 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion of the Philippine Army. The activity was highlighted with the ceremonial turn-over of livelihood assistance “Cattle Dispersal” by the City Mayor Ernesto “Estong” Matugas Jr to five (5) beneficiaries, distribution of Hygiene Kits to 120 households from SMWD-Prime Waters and distribution of seedlings. After the launching program, a “Serbisyo Caravan” immediately commenced to provide basic services to the peace-loving residents of Sitio Brazil. Said services include dental and medical services, free haircut, supplemental feeding, distribution of slippers and “Lice Alis” packs to the pupils of Lope R Ruiz Memorial Elementary School, vaccination and deworming, issuance of appointment schedules for the filing of NBI clearance, and the extension of free legal consultation/services.

In his message, Mayor Estong expressed his outmost gratitude to the partner stakeholders who supported the TF ELCAC launch. He stated, “Everyone desires for peace, let us support the EO 70 or Whole-of-Nation Approach of our beloved PRRD for his action to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Surigao City”.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey A Villarosa, Commanding Officer of 30IB congratulated Team Surigao City for bringing government services to Sitio Brazil, a Conflict-Affected Area (ConAA). “Your Python Troopers will always be active partners of Team SC and Team SDN. I also you, the peace-loving residents of Sitio Brazil, the most important member of the Team, to be active participants towards our efforts to attain peace and development to our community. Insulate your children, your families and your community from the deceotion and lies of the NPAs.”

“You must also reclaim your brothers and sisters who are deceived into joining as regular NPA members. Let us help them return to the folds of the law. Let us help the family of Eric Colon aka Neo, the NPA commander of GF16B, who is a resident of nearby Sitio File of barangay Mat-i, SC. Let us also help the families of the members of alyas Neo’s NPA unit to surrender and make their lives normal again, before it is too late. Our government will always welcome them back and they will be given another opportunity to live normal lives. They will be given the full benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP, ”, Lt. Col. Villarosa added.

CTF-ELCAC was institutionalized during joint City Development Council (CDC) and City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting through the approved joint Resolution No.4, s. 2019 dated September 16, 2019.