CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City — The Ilocos Region has been declared as the first region in the country to be in a state of stable internal peace and security or insurgency-free.
This, after the signing of the Joint Regional Development Council 1 (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council 1 (RPOC), and the Regional Task Force (RTF-ELCAC) 1 Resolution No. 1, Series of 2022, at the EM Royalle Hotel and Beach Resort in San Juan, La Union on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Northern Luzon Command Commander Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. said they will do their best to ensure that other regions in their area of operations will soon follow.
He personally attended the event, alongside National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr, Chairperson, RTF-ELCAC 1; La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel ‘Pacoy’ Ortega III, Chairperson, RPOC 1; Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina, Chairperson, RDC 1; Ms. Julie J. Daquioag, Ph.D., CESO III, Regional Director, DILG Region 1, RPOC-1 Head Secretariat; and Mr. Nestor G. Rillon, Regional Director, NEDA Region 1, RDC-1 Vice-Chairperson, and other members of the RTF-ELCAC 1.
Prior to the signing of the resolution, Brig. Gen. Krishnamurti Mortela, Commander of Joint Task Group Defender, the AFP unit in charge of combatting terrorism in the Ilocos region, presented the premises and accomplishments of Region 1 Peace, Law Enforcement, and Development Support (PLEDS) cluster in dismantling the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) operating in the region.
The JTG commander highlighted the 36 high-value personalities neutralized, the surrender of 984 New People’s Army (NPA) regulars alongside the capture and recovery of 84 firearms, and the overwhelming support of 152 municipalities and 3, 564 barangays in declaring communist terrorists as persona non grata.
“Our hard work, focus, and relentless efforts to accomplish our targets and mandate yielded zero violence incidents for more than a year now since January 2021, “said Mortela.
La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel ‘Pacoy’ Ortega III thanked all the agencies and stakeholders who have contributed in making Ilocos Region achieve the state of stable internal peace and security.
Mayor Juan Carlos Medina described this accomplishment as a “legacy of Secretary Esperon and President Duterte.”T
Torres assured that the military and the police will continue pressuring the remaining communist terrorists in north and central Luzon to surrender, return to the fold of the law, and have the chance of redeeming their lives as productive citizens of the country.
The signing of the resolution marks a milestone in history with Ilocos as the first region in the Philippines to be declared insurgency-free.