The Joint Palawan Provincial Task Force ELCAC (PTF-ELCAC) and the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) have declared Palawan as insurgency-free, through a joint resolution passed on December 2.

The resolution noted that the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The joint body noted that since the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 70 in 2016, some 118 firearms have been recovered from the insurgent group. It stated that 214 former rebels have surrendered and have benefited from the provincial government’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) and the national government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

“The backbone of the communist terrorist group in Palawan was crushed resulting from the neutralization of CTG leaders, massive surrenders of former rebels and supporters, and recovery of CTG firearms, explosives and other war paraphernalia,” the Western Command stated.

“Western Command is thanking not only our gallant and dedicated joint forces, but also our partner agencies and the people of the entire province for working so hard to achieve our shared dream of a safe, secure and communist terrorist-free Palawan,” said WESCOM chief Vice Admiral Alberto B. Carlos.

Additionally, 3rd Marine Brigade and Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP) commander Brigadier General Jimmy L. Larida said the declaration was hard-earned as it took years to attain.

“It was not an easy journey. But because of our collaborative efforts, we have protected our communities and people from being vulnerable from enemy deception and unlawful activities, moving us to where we are now,” Larida said.

“All these efforts have sustained the gains of the whole-of-government efforts leading to the end of insurgency in Palawan,” he added.

Carlos also lauded the efforts of the units under WESCOM in their military operations and civil-military partnerships in securing the communities from terrorist infiltration and clearing them from enemy’s affectation throughout the years.

“As a safe and insurgency-free environment prevails in the whole Province of Palawan, we can all enjoy a more peaceful and progressive home for the locals, and indeed the most desired destination for our visitors worldwide,” Carlos said.

“We urge all Palaweños to keep our Bayanihan spirit strong alive in order to safeguard our internal security gains, to continue working together for progress and good governance, and to prevent the resurgence of the communist terrorists in the province,” he added.

WESCOM did not explain details in a statement released to the media.