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NTF-ELCAC to transition into a new role after all guerilla fronts are dismantled

February 02, 2024

The NTF ELCAC will transition into a national task force that will promote unity, peace and development as envisioned under the “Bagong Pilipinas” program of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after all the 11 remaining weakened guerilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) are defeated, administration officials said Friday (Feb. 2, 2024).

Meanwhile, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Executive Director Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr.  and National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya took exception to the “outdated” comment of United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan referring to the NTF-ELCAC.

“Advocating for good governance through the ‘whole-of-nation/whole-of-government participation’ approach never gets outdated. It has been very successful in its campaign in the past 5 years. It cannot be outdated because all the politico-military capabilities of the CPP-NPA-NDF had been disabled over the last five years,” Torres said.

In her exit press conference today, Khan expressed her appreciation to the human rights program of the Marcos Jr.’s administration but, on the other hand, she has linked this to the government’s anti-insurgency campaign that led her to believe NTF-ELCAC should be abolished on the basis of the so-called “red-tagging.”


“Some changes have been made, but I also said that it is not enough. I think the government is trying to turn the page, but to turn the page, more need has to be done,” Khan, UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, said.

For his part, Malaya explained that “red-tagging” is not enough reason to abolish the NTF ELAC because the task force does not encourage nor support “red tagging.” “It is not a policy of any body or instrumentality of government. There is also no legal and binding definition nor is it considered a crime under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines.”

“We wish to underscore once again the Marcos Administration has not issued any law, rule, or policy instrument that implements “red tagging” or even uses the word “red-tagging.” The term has no basis and cannot be attributed to any current government policy, program or activity,” he added.

Torres said the government’s campaign to once and for all eliminate the decades-old scourge of communist insurgency under the Marcos Jr. administration is necessary for the country to move forward.

“We’re very cognizant about her assessment. We regularly assess, evaluate and recalibrate the way we do things as necessary, hence, the NTF-ELCAC roadmap and the proposed transition to a task force for unity, peace and development which is aligned with President Marcos Jr.’s ‘Bagong Pilipinas’,” he said.

Even as Marcos Jr. has already declared strategic victory over the CPP-NPA-NDF, he still offered the “olive branch” for remnants of the communist movement with the November 2023 signing of the Oslo Joint Communique between the government and the NDF.

Based on data from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), all 89 active NPA guerrilla Fronts since 2018 have been dismantled, of which only 11 weakened GFs remained.

“Since we expect that the remaining guerrilla fronts will be dismantled before the end of the year, the NTF-ELCAC is ready to transition according to its roadmap to a body dedicated to unity, peace and development,” Torres said.

Both Malaya and Torres are confident that the AFP can dismantle the 11 weakened NPA guerilla fronts within the year with only more or less 1,500 remaining members foraging in the forests because of no more mass bases to depend on.

“Once the remaining weakened guerilla fronts have been dismantled, then that would be the signal to transition to NTF-UPD,” Malaya said.###


Ref: Joel M. Sy Egco

+63 915 550 6969


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