June 20, 2024

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has assured he would not abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).  

In an interview with reporters during his visit in Cagayan de Oro on May 16, Marcos said NTF-ELCAC has done more to curb the number of communist rebels through the whole-of-government approach.

“What is the reason for abolishing ELCAC? Because of red-tagging? But it is not the government that is red-tagging,” the President told reporters during an ambush interview.  

“Red-tagging” is the act of identifying individuals or organizations perceived to have associations with communist rebels under the New People’s Army and its political wings, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.  

Marcos said the NTF-ELCAC has been instrumental in giving rebel surrenderers a second chance by providing them livelihood assistance through concerned government agencies.  

The NTF-ELCAC was created through Executive Order 70 in 2018 by then President Rodrigo Duterte, which institutionalized the government’s “whole-of-nation” approach to tackling the country’s communist rebellion.

Regional, provincial, city, municipality, and barangay ELCAC task forces have been formed to implement the NTF-ELCAC’s mission at the local level. – PNA