Celine Pialago is equal parts proud and hopeful to be part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or the NTF-ELCAC.
“Kung ang usapan ay para sa kaligtasan ng ating bayan at sa magandang kinabukasan ng ating kabataan, wala akong ibang nararamdaman kundi ang maging proud at mapuno ng pag-asa para sa hinaharap (If it’s about the safety of our nation and the good future of our youth, then I have no feelings other than proudness and hope),” the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assistant secretary said.
“Wakasan natin ang karahasan at terrorismo sa ating bansa. Iligtas po natin ang kabataan, ang inyong mga anak, sa maling ideolohiya at paniniwala (Let’s end violence and terrorism in our country. Let’s save the youth, your children, from wrong ideologies and beliefs),” added the 30-year-old Pialago, who serves as the NTF-ELCAC spokesperson on public affairs and youth concerns.
The MMDA official was named as one of six new spokespersons of the task force only last May. In fact, the 36-second video message shared by Pialago featured all six new NTF-ELCAC spokespersons “roll call” style, as if it was their big introduction to the public.
The five other spokespersons are Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (spokesperson on local government affairs, barangay development program, and international engagement); Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat (PHRCS) Undersecretary Severo Catura (international affairs, peace process, human rights concerns); Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco (mass media engagements, fact-checker); National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Caraga Regional Director Marlon Bosantog (legal Affairs, Indigenous Peoples concerns); and Gaye Florendo (assistant spokesperson on NTF-ELCAC public affairs and on Indigenous Peoples concerns).
In the video message, the NTF-ELCAC condemned the actions of the “heartless communist terrorists” in the past five decades, and at the same time expressed confidence that Filipinos would overcome them if they unite against these foes of the state.
“Together, victory will be ours,” was National Security Council (NSC) Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr.’s battle cry at the end of the video, something that Pialago restated for good measure.