South Cotabato Governor engages in Regional Task Force Meeting on Ending Armed Conflict

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. took part in the Joint Regional Task Force Meeting on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) held Monday, April 1, 2024, at the Grand Summit Hotel in General Santos City. The event, chaired by CORDS for Region 12 Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with Undersecretary Ernesto Torres of the National Task Force ELCAC, aimed to address critical issues related to insurgency and promote peace and development in the region.

During the meeting, Governor Tamayo shared the achievements, successes, milestones, and challenges encountered in implementing Executive Order 70 in South Cotabato. Among the significant accomplishments highlighted were:

  • Surrender of 504 former rebels/partners since 2019, including 28 local terrorist surrenderees.
  • Integration and utilization of former rebels into Reinforce Services Task Force (RST) for community needs assessment and service delivery.
  • Recognition of the 5th Special Forces Battalion for pioneering deradicalization programs and dismantling terrorist groups.
  • Admission of former rebels into the regular Armed Forces and Community Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU).
  • Implementation of outreach programs, legal services, and financial assistance for surrendering individuals.
  • Execution of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) for a Php5 million project to support the operations of the Halfway House and Peace Center of South Cotabato.
  • Conduct of annual Former Rebel (FR) Summits since 2022, culminating in the organization of the FR's federation of the province.

Governor Tamayo also mentioned planned programs and activities under the South Cotabato Convergence Approach for Transformation and Change-Unification Program (CATCHUP).

As Chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) XII, Governor Tamayo reaffirmed unwavering support for all ELCAC initiatives of the government, particularly in the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

"Kaisa tayo lagi ng lahat para sa pagsulong ng Positive Peace sa ating rehiyon," Governor Tamayo emphasized, highlighting the importance of unity in advancing positive peace.

He further expressed commitment to continued collaboration for the progress and improvement of the constituents' lives.

The meeting served as a crucial platform for government officials to discuss strategies and initiatives in addressing local communist armed conflict and promoting peace and development in the region.

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