News Release

Local leaders, urged to tackle illegal drugs, communist insurgency

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC) Mimaropa meeting at the Bulwagang Panlalawigan, Provincial Capitol Complex in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on November 18, 2021. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Local chief executives and community leaders play a crucial role not only in addressing communist rebellion but also in fighting crimes and illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Thursday, asking local leaders to support his government in advancing its goal of securing the nation.

Speaking during the meeting of the National Task Force and Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-RTF ELCAC) in Mimaropa held in Calapan City, President Duterte persuaded local chief executives in the region to synergize their efforts with the NTF-and RTF-ELCAC in fighting lawlessness and insurgency.

“I also ask you to support this administration’s programs in achieving sustainable peace and security,” he said.

With only six months before stepping down from power, the President said he is bothered by the threats posed by crime and drugs as well as by the communist rebels.

“Gawain mo lahat, lahat, lahat kaya mong gawain to suppress itong dalawa: drugs and terrorism perpetrated by the communists,” the chief executive said.

“Iyan lang ang problema natin. We can hurdle it maybe, just maybe, we will have a prosperous and beautiful country again.”

At the same time, President Duterte urged all concerned agencies in the region to undertake all the necessary actions to address the decades-long power crisis in Mindoro.

Those agencies should work together to ensure a reliable and efficient power source for the continued growth of the local economy and improved quality of life to the Filipino Mindoreños, according to the President.

“Indeed, if we address these key issues among our people, they will not turn towards extremism and, instead, they will contribute significantly to nation building,” he pointed out.

“As President, I assure you that the government will provide unrelenting support to your respective initiatives in securing lasting peace in the country. Join me in this fight so that we can build a stronger and safer future for the next generation,” he added.

During the event, President Duterte also led the ceremonial switch-on of the National Power Corporation’s (Napocor) Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro Interconnection Transmission Lines — a joint effort of the Department of Energy (DOE), Napocor, Mindoro electric cooperatives and other energy agencies to secure reliable power supply in the entire island of Mindoro.

Also part of the President’s visit to Mimaropa was the inspection of the Sentrong Pangkabataan Complex, a future venue for young leaders in Mindoro to converge and conduct seminars and trainings that will empower them and improve their leadership skills.

He commended the joint efforts of the local government and other government and non-government agencies for pursuing programs and projects that cater to the development of young people.

His administration, he said, is committed to supporting the endeavors of local governments that empower different sectors of society such as the youth.

“It is my hope that the local government of Oriental Mindoro and its people will continue to enhance the youth’s civic efficiency, moral character and nation building,” he noted.

Anchored on good governance, patriotism and values enhancement, the joint meeting served as an opportunity for Mimaropa to discuss ways to effectively address local insurgency and terrorism, illegal drugs, criminality and corruption that continue to threaten peace and security, not just in Mimaropa, but also in the entire country.

Since its creation in December 2018, the NTF-ELCAC has been at the forefront of government’s thrust to raise awareness and implement the whole-of-nation approach to put an end to more than five decades of communist insurgency in the Philippines. PND