By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental provincial government is currently gearing up the Negros Occidental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOcTF-ELCAC) with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson leading a planning workshop earlier this week at the Negros First Residences function room.
The governor said the government is planning measures on how to end anti-government insurgency on the island. Despite calling it “very challenging,” he affirmed “the provincial government is doing its share.”
“This kind of task force is to acknowledge the fact that the solution to end the insurgency problem is not in the hands of the security forces alone,” said Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, who was present at the workshop. “It is important that local government units and national agencies are able to deliver services, especially to the far-flung barangays that are usually victimized by the deception and manipulation of the NPA (New People’s Army).”
“I’m optimistic for the upcoming creation of NOcTF-ELCAC as an opportunity for us to work together as part of the government and whole-of-nation approach to address the NPA,” he added.
Also present for the event were Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office director, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros; Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development coordinator, Dr. Ma Lina Sanogal; various mayors and vice mayors; among others./DGB, WDJ