Ilocos Region is now formally declared as the first region in the country to be in a State of Stable Internal Peace and Security.
During Thursday’s 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 s. 2022 at the EM Royalle Hotel & Beach Resort in San Juan, La Union, said Northern Luzon Command Commander Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr. who personally attended the event.
Along with Torres Jr. were 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. “With Ilocos region formally declared to be in a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security, we will do our best to ensure that other regions in our area of operations will soon follow,” he said.
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. He highlighted the 36 high-value personalities neutralized, surrender of 984 NPA regular 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,” he noted.
La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel ‘Pacoy’ Ortega III hailed all the agencies and stakeholders who have contributed to making the Ilocos Region reach the State of Stable Internal Peace and Security.
Vigan City Mayor Medina also described this accomplishment as a “legacy of Secretary Esperon and President Duterte.”
Esperon said that after this accomplishment, the government will change its tempo towards the further development of the region.
Peace and development will flourish in the region without the hindering presence of the insurgency, Torres believed, while adding, “the military and the police will continue pressuring the remaining Communist terrorists in north and central Luzon to surrender and return to the fold of the law to have a chance of redeeming their lives as productive citizens of the country.”
The signing of the resolution, Nolcom further stressed, “marks a milestone in history as the first region in the Philippines to be declared in a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security which manifests that the provinces in Ilocos are cleared and unaffected by (rebels), and are in a normalized state of peace and development.”