July 16, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Provincial Police Office Director Col. Elmer Ragay said the government and the people are winning the war on insurgency without firing shots and encounters in the mountains.
“For the system itself, we are gaining grounds. We are winning the war on insurgency without firing shots,” Ragay said during a Kapihan sa Benguet forum recently. 
Ragay said this is through the institutionalization of Executive Order 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict in the country. 
EO 70 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018 called for the institutionalization of a whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. 
Ragay said since he assumed as the Benguet PPO director in September last year, at least 22 members of the CPP-NPA already surrendered to the government through the BPPO. They turned over their firearms and gave vital information to the authorities during their surrender. 
The most recent surrenders to the PPO involved a high ranking political officer of the NPA at the Camp Molintas in Buguias and the two combatants who surrendered during the celebration of the 33rd Cordillera Foundation Day.
He said most of the rebel returnees are not from Benguet but mostly from the nearby provinces in the Cordillera who coordinated with the local leaders, police officers, Army officials, and other members of the community to surrender back to the folds of the law. 
The former rebels received incentives for their surrendered firearms and they were processed under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in order to receive welfare and livelihood assistance from the government.
Ragay said at least two have already received their livelihood packages and are now enjoying the benefits under the ECLIP program. 
With the success of the whole-of-the nation approach to ELCAC, Ragay called on other members of the communist groups and their front organizations to surrender to the government authorities and seek for better and more peaceful life lives in the mainstream society. – Redjie M. Cawis