PFO ADS supports NTF-ELCAC Intervention in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur
The 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army has identified 15 of the 47 barangays in the Municipality of Esperanza as mass base of the alleged Communist Party of the Philippines – New People's Army (CPP-NPA) legal front called the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Sur (NAMASUR). The remote Barangay of San Toribio in the municipality is reported as the center of the organization’s activities. To counter the efforts of the alleged organization, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) along with support agencies including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Provincial Fisheries Office of Agusan Sur, participated in the ceremonial turnover of livelihood projects to various farmers organizations, Sunday, April 18, 2021. This is in support of the Executive Order No. 70 adopting the whole of nation or government approach to end communist armed conflict.
The Regional Bureau provided 2,500 pcs tilapia fingerlings and five (5) bags of feed inputs as partial support to the Cebulan United Farmers Association (CUFA) chaired by Mr. Lucas Numeral. Present in the activity were BFAR XIII Assistant Regional Director Edgardo P. Balambao, Provincial Fishery Officer Bimbo C. Lagare, Regional Director Manuel Orduna of the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA) and Major Francisco P. Garello Jr. of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army.
Mr. Numeral along with other farmer leaders, were somewhat surprised on how quick and responsive the government acted on the group’s request of livelihood inputs. For him, if the government has acted this way a long time before, many farmers would not be enticed to join these dubious organizations of the CPP-NPA.
ARD Balambao challenged the group to sustain their fishery project as BFAR will continue to support them with technology, trainings and marketing assistance.