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November 26, 2023

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) condemned the New People’s Army (NPA), a terrorist group, for executing a farmer on the day President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued his landmark amnesty program to all rebel groups.

The farmer, 48-year-old Ricardo Quijano, was shot pointblank in the forehead by members of the terrorist group for refusing to give them food.

“The NPA killed an innocent farmer on the very day the President offered the olive branch for peace and reconciliation. This killing of Quijano is diabolical and justice must be meted out without delay,” National Secretariat Executive Director Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr. said.

In step with the killing of the farmer, the Makabayan bloc thumbed down the amnesty grant, earning the ire of JRTF6-ELCAC Spokesperson Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales who lambasted them in a statement saying, "Amnesty does not have to be.. ...vilified, maligned, or made into a political circus by the Makabayan bloc lawmakers.

Further on, Gonzales said, "The 'makabayan' people in Congress... ...are promoting that the government seek to please the communist terrorist groups as a precondition to attaining peace by engaging the terrorist groups in a so-called 'peace talks'. On this specific point, the not so makabayan lawmakers are dead wrong.

"If the 'makabayan' lawmakers find it extremely difficult to support the amnesty processes, then, they can just step aside, keep their mouths shut, and let the government and the NTF-ELCAC whole-of-nation approach win the peace by ending the local conflicts in the entire archipelago."

Last Thursday, Pres. Marcos Jr. signed Proclamations 403, 404, 405, and 406 to woe rebel and insurgent groups to return to the fold of the law for sake of peace, reconciliation and unity.

The grant of amnesty demonstrates the President's sincere desire to put an end to the 55 year local communist armed conflict.

“Really, the President is walking the talk. He has a clear vision rooted in the principles of reconciliation and unity. The amnesty serves as a bridge toward healing and reintegration for individuals who once stood on opposing sides of armed conflict. It is imperative to emphasize the profound commitment to justice and societal healing embedded within this amnesty program,” National Secretariat Executive Director Torres said.

Despite the latest horrifying atrocity of the CPP-NPA-NDF, Torres has vowed to intensify convergence activities of the National Secretariat with all its local partners and to synchronize all efforts to finally defeat the CTGs.

“We call on the last remaining members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and RPMP to give up the armed struggle and formally return to the folds of the law. Let us move forward together, transcending past conflicts and differences, towards a future where peace reigns supreme. Our collective efforts today lay the groundwork for a more cohesive and prosperous Philippines tomorrow,” he said.

“Magkaisa para sa abot-kamay na kapayapaan, kaligtasan, at kaunlaran!’” he added.


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