With the recent development in the House of Representatives during the budget deliberations where a group of party-list representatives had attempted to block the budget requested by the NATIONAL TASK FORCE TO END LOCAL COMMUNIST ARMED CONFLICT (NTF ELCAC) and even harassed the task force’s spokesperson, we wish to inform everyone that to effectively address the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) problem, the government has entered into a massive campaign to spur the development of the rural countryside so that barangays impoverished by the malignant presence of the CTG can also experience the sustainable growth being enjoyed by communities who were able to expel them.

The same impoverished communities are also vulnerable to natural hazards and disasters, the presence of the CTG, with its armed interference and brigandage, prevent government humanitarian support from reaching our people who both need and deserve assistance.

There had been multiple documented instances where the CTG had disturbed the peaceful response and early recovery efforts of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to assist the communities that had been adversely affected by disasters. Armed attacks against both civilian and military personnel assisting in the delivery of relief items and the extortion of both funds and relief items from ordinary citizens have driven a lot of our disaster-stricken communities to more misery and desperation.

Therefore, in the same manner that we condemn the CTG atrocity of ambushing relief convoys including the theft and extortion of relief items during humanitarian operations, we also condemn in the strongest terms any organization who condones these acts violative of international humanitarian law and actively assists the CTG in its nefarious activities.

We support the mission of the NTF-ELCAC to rid the country of this menace. We call on the Congress of the Republic to support our shared goal to end the decades-long thievery, mass murder, terrorism and economic sabotage being done by the CTG and pay no heed to the voices of their front-organizations.

Our people deserve the blessings of our continuing development effort.

Our people deserve to live in a safer, adaptive and disaster resilient Philippines without the CTG.