By Priam Nepomuceno

GLOBAL FIGHT. Civilians in Mosul, Iraq flee to safety following a suicide car bombing in this undated United Nations file photo. In the Philippines, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict assured in a statement on Monday (Aug. 21, 2023) that it remains committed to combating atrocities through the whole-of-nation approach. (United Nations photo) 

MANILA – As the world remembers victims of terrorism, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said it remains committed to combating atrocities through the whole-of-nation approach.

“By addressing the root causes of the insurgency, fostering peace and development, and strengthening the bonds of unity among our communities, we aim to pave the way for a future free from fear and violence,” Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr., NTF-ELCAC executive director, said in a statement on Monday.

The United Nations spearheaded the observance of the “International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism” on Aug. 21, approved by the General Assembly in 2017.

This year’s observation carries the theme “Legacy: Finding Hope and Building a Peaceful Future.”

“We come together to remember the victims and survivors of terrorism. To stand with the families changed forever. And to resolve to build a more peaceful future – together,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement, also on Monday.

Torres said despite the international condemnation and global efforts of the UN, vile acts of terrorism still exist, “ignited by some ideologies that promote violence and continue to threaten and disrupt the peaceful lives of thousands of innocent victims every year.”

He particularly pointed at the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for atrocities that have devastated communities.

“The CPP-NPA-NDF’s continuous acts of terror have left a trail of destruction, claiming the lives of innocent civilians, indigenous peoples, endangering the communities in the countryside, and destroying the very fabric of our society,” Torres said.

He said the NTF-ELCAC, with its 12 national clusters and 17 joint regional task and local task forces nationwide, stands with the UN and the international community in eradicating terrorism in all its forms.

“Let us remember the victims, honor their memory, create meaningful and positive change by raising awareness about the long-lasting impact of terrorism, and renew our resolve to build a world where peace, tolerance, and understanding prevail,” Torres said. (PNA)