Press Release
October 13, 2020


Senator Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa urged the Department of National Defense, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as well as the other military agencies of the government, to continue to be aggressive in its efforts to end the problem of insurgency and terrorism in the country especially since the current administration is consistently throwing its support to resolve the problem.

Dela Rosa issued the call while manifesting his support for the approval of the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies during the Public Hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance [Sub-committee "C"]. The senator underscored President Duterte's efforts in giving the government troops the necessary aid in battling the New People's Army (NPA) and other terrorist groups propagating communism and armed conflict in rural areas in the country.

"Long shot kung within two years matapos na ito. But somehow, sana malaking dent ang ating maibigay dito sa problema na ito dahil matagal na tayo sa serbisyo, ngayon lang talaga natin naramdaman na meron tayong Presidente na sumu-suporta sa ating efforts towards insurgency. So, imaximize natin ito," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa, who also served in the national police force after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy and had a long stint in Mindanao, said that the government's anti-insurgency efforts is gaining momentum to resolve the issue as a result of various government programs including the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

"Itong problema natin sa NPA, we've been fighting this war for a very long time already and alam natin na noon pa, tinyente pa tayo General Gapay, ang ating hinanakit noon, ang sabi natin palagi, 'Mistah, ano ba itong giyera na ito. Para bang pinabayaan nalang tayo dito ng ibang ahensya ng gobyerno. Parang insurgency is purely a military problem'," Dela Rosa recalled.

"Pero ngayon, nakikita natin through NTF-ELCAC, nagkakaroon tayo ng kaliwanagan na tsansa na natin ito na tapusin itong problema na ito [on insurgency]", Dela Rosa noted.

The senator added that some communist groups were already able to penetrate the government structure to pursue their goal of destroying the system.

"Although sabi natin patapos na sila, pababa na sila, pero alam natin na may mga nakapasok na sakanila sa ating gobyerno. They want to destroy our government from the legislature pa nga yung iba," Dela Rosa said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the government is making headway in the fight against insurgency through the efforts of the NTF-ELCAC and the intelligence capacity of the government has also improved, leading to arrests of suicide bombers.

To further fight insurgency in the country, Dela Rosa also urged the department to ensure that the Salugpungan schools taken down by the NTF-ELCAC will be replaced with schools managed by the Department of Education.

"Yung mga Salugpungan schools na pinaggigiba natin, sana mapalitan talaga natin yun ng real schools, totoong eskwelahan ng DepEd, para yung mga tao hindi lalong magagalit sa atin. Pinahinto natin ang edukasyon na binibigay sa kanila ng NPA...tutukan natin yung mga eskwelahan na 'yun, lagyan talaga natin ng totoong eskwelahan galing sa atin," Dela Rosa urged.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa also supports the efforts of the Presidential Communications Group (PCOO) to inform the public about the anti-insurgency campaign of the government and the need for community support in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. Last month, the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives moved to defer the approval of the PCOO 2021 budget during their committee deliberation of the General Appropriations Bill. In contrast, the Senate swiftly approved the submission to the Senate plenary of the PCOO budget amounting to P472.276 million today, a move which Dela Rosa fully supports.

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