By DARWIN PESCO
July 26, 2019
THE government will further intensify its campaign against terrorists and, this time, it will be bloodier, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said on Thursday the President informed local executives of his plan to go hammer and tongs against extremists.
President Rodrigo Duterte met governors and city and municipal mayors on Tuesday night, and prodded them to help in the campaign against terror, drugs and corruption.
“Talagang madugo ito. I will order the Armed Forces to invade Basilan, Tawi Tawi, Sulu, if needed,” the DILG chief quoted the President as saying.
On Thursday, the military conducted air raids in Pikit, North Cotabato to flush out the group of Cmdr. Abu Taraife of Dawla Islamiyah, which is affiliated with the Maute terror group.
Año said Duterte also prodded the local chief executives to intensify their campaign against communist terrorism in their areas of jurisdictions.
“Do not support the NPA (New People’s Army). Do not give money to the NPA or any of their front organizations,” he said.
The NPA was declared a “terrorist” group in 2017 under a proclamation signed by the President.
Año said the administration would also boost its drive to stop the communist insurgency.
“The national task force to end communist armed insurgency is laying the foundation for this fight. The hard approach is being administered by the military, police and other law enforcement agencies,” the DILG chief added.
Año urged local officials to conduct localized peace talks and implement the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which provides communist rebels who laid down their arms a “holistic” package of benefits, including livelihood and medical assistance, education and housing.
“We have been conducting a series of provincial action-planning workshops, so as heads of your own local task forces, I urge you to be on top of the process — from planning to implementation,” he added.
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