SALUTE. Military and police commanders honor World War II veterans in Negros Oriental during a recognition ceremony in Dumaguete City on Friday (Dec. 2, 2022). Defense Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr., who attended the activity, commanded the efforts of the uniformed men in Negros Island for the accomplishments in the fight to end the communist insurgency. (PNA photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – A ranking official of the Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday commended the Philippine Army for its accomplishments in the government’s fight against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

DND Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr., in an interview, said “at the national level, ELCAC (End Local Communist Armed Conflict) will continue and the administration fully supports ELCAC and we know that this is very effective as can be seen by the remarkable accomplishments”.

Faustino particularly mentioned the gains in Negros, having "the best military commanders", saying that together with the Philippine National Police and other uniformed services, “this has become a model for others to replicate, especially in the Visayas region, on how we solve the insurgency problem.”

The DND official also cited the help of the local chief executives, the local government units and agencies, for being key in ending the insurgency.

He also noted that some areas are already “enjoying relative peace” because of the whole-of-nation efforts.

During a courtesy call with Governor Roel Degamo earlier, Faustino said they discussed the insurgency fight now being relegated to the regional or even provincial level “and that is very encouraging”.

Some regions in the country have already been declared insurgency-free, he noted.

Faustino was in this capital city for the awarding of the US Congress Gold Medal to 45 Filipino World War II veterans from Negros Oriental who fought alongside troops of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). (PNA)