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Sunday, April 21, 2024

‘Communist activities on the decline’

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Communist activities have been on the decline in the five years under the Duterte administration, the group Liga Independencia Pilipinas said, following concerted effort to abolish the communist terrorist group under a whole-of-nation approach for inclusive and sustainable peace.

Liga Independencia Pilipinas Secretary General Jose Antonio “Ka Pep” Goitia

LIPI Secretary General Jose Antonio Goitia said these were just some of the benefits Filipinos have received from the government under President Rodrigo Duterte. 

“Thousands of NPA (New People’s Army) cadres have surrendered their arms to live in peace and become responsible citizens of the Philippines,” Goitia noted. 

“The pandemic has slowed the Philippines’ and 193 other countries’ progress. The President must continue his economic recovery efforts, as well as the Covid-19 vaccination operations, to kickstart the economy. He must also continue his anti-corruption, anti-drug, and government reform campaigns,” he said. 

As for LIPI, Goitia said the President “has inspired us to take an active role in combating those who  oppose our ideals, rights, and way of life.”

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“We are at the forefront of combating the spread of disinformation by the CPP-NPA-NDF and opposing political parties whose agenda is to demolish the government’s policies and programs,” he said. 

“Our advocacy will continue until we are free of the dangers of radical extremism posed by criminal organizations such as the CPP-PNA-NDF and ISIS,” Goitia said. 

One of the President’s greatest achievements in attaining everlasting peace in the countryside was Duterte’s signing of Executive Order 70, Goitia added. 

This institutionalized the “Whole-of-Nation” approach to achieving inclusive and sustainable peace by establishing a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in dealing with CTGs. 

Goitia also said: “The NTF-ELCAC’s Barangay Development Program is one of the government’s most worthwhile initiatives. The program provided incentives and services that resulted in the communist threat being removed from more than 800 barangays.” 

Examples of these initiatives are farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation systems, assistance to indigent individuals or families, agricultural, livelihood and technical vocational training, electrification, and health services, he noted. 

Goitia believes the government’s effort to pass the anti-terrorism law is a significant boost in its efforts to combat the insurgency.

“The ATG law is critical to our national security because the country has been subjected to decades of violent extremism perpetrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed and legal fronts, resulting in the destruction of billions of dollars in businesses and properties, the murder of innocent people, kidnappings, radicalization of our youth, illegal taxation, and other crimes,” he said. 

Replying to questions, Goitia said he expected to hear during the SONA the President’s highlighting the accomplishments with a recap of the last five years, as well as his policies and programs for the final year of his presidency. 

“The success of the nationwide infrastructure development plan ‘Build Build, Build,’ the primary goals of which would encourage investments and stimulate socioeconomic growth across all sectors of society, has helped create 6.5 million jobs,” he said. 

According to NEDA, President Duterte’s fiscal prudence policy and push for tax reforms enabled Filipinos to achieve the highest revenue-to-GDP ratio of 16.1 percent and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of 39.6 percent in 2019, Goitia noted. 

“We were able to obtain an unprecedented upgrade in our credit rating, allowing us to access funds for our priority programs at reduced rates and on favorable terms,” he said. 

“The President should speak about the ongoing AFP modernization program and its implications for defending our sovereignty against internal and external threats. What military equipment we have acquired thus far, and what the next phase of the program would entail,” Goitia said. 

Another trending issue Duterte needs to report on is his pursuit of and independence from foreign policy, he added. 

“The President must explain how his foreign policy has benefited us in terms of international trade, security, and standing in the international community,” Goitia said. 

“This administration has had numerous successes. During the previous five years, the Filipino people had kept a close eye on events.

We also expect the President to discuss his policies going forward, but we would like him to focus on economic recovery, international relations, security, and social and political reforms,” he said.

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