Thursday, October 1, 2020

Caraga RTF-ELCAC creates a body to stop CPP-NPA Extortion

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) approves the creation of a Special Task Group to Counter the Communist Terrorist Group Resource Generation (STG-CCRG) during its Full Council Meeting yesterday, September 30, 2020.

The function of the STG-CCRG is to assist the RTF-ELCAC in the formulation of Programs, Projects, Services, and Activities (PPSAs) geared to stop the NPA’s extortion activities.

The proposal came from Major General Andres C Centino, Commander of 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Diamond, who has responsibility for Northern Mindanao and Caraga Region.

General Centino said that while the government’s counter-insurgency campaign is gaining a headway by having weakened the enemy’s capabilities through manpower and firearms reduction along with the resolution of the root causes of the insurgency, somehow the CPP-NPA’s resource generation activities has been overlooked.

“The CPP-NPA’s funds are primarily coming from its extortion activities targeting the mining industry, agri-businesses, construction firms, transport sector, and other business establishments among others. According to former rebels, captured CPP-NPA finance officers and documents recovered, through extortion they have amassed more than 118 million pesos in 2019 alone”, Centino said.

Centino added that, despite the series of surrender and neutralization of CPP-NPA members, they remain resilient because of the extorted funds that have sustained their operations. 

“We need to address the CPP-NPA extortion schemes if we want to end the insurgency problem in the region,” he said. 

The Caraga RTF ELCAC Full Council Meeting was presided by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Norgales via video teleconference with the attendance of the members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC). 

Nograles is also the Cabinet Official for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Caraga, tasked to integrate the peace, security, and development initiatives of the government.

Source: Division Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division, PA

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