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UN special rapporteur hit anew over disband-ELCAC remark

THE National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) yesterday lashed out at Ian Fry, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, who recently recommended the abolition of the task force.

National Security Council assistant director general Jonathan Malaya, also head of the NTF-ELCAC Strategic Communications Cluster, said Fry allowed himself to be used by enemies of government during his visit to the Philippines.

Fry met with various organizations and government officials while in the country to assess how the country is addressing the issue of climate change.

Fry said civil society organizations and indigenous people’s organizations told him “horrific stories,” including torture, disappearances and extra-judicial killings of people.

Fry said these incidents are “totally unacceptable” even as he surmised that the government “has lost control on this military organization and are moving beyond what is considered reasonable.”

Malaya said Fry was allowed entry to the Philippines to meet with various groups to inquire matters related to his mandated.

“He never talked to the National Task Force ELCAC. In other words, he did not give due process to NTF-ELCAC and he relied on third party sources. Based on biased sources, he came out with a recommendation to abolish (the task force)…in violation of fairness and justice,” he said.

“You were given freedom and ease of movement, you were given freedom of investigation but you only listened to critics of NTF-ELCAC,” he added.

Malaya said the task force was surprised by the Fry’s recommendation, noting that communist insurgency in the country is nearing its end. He noted that the New People’s Army is left with only one active guerrilla front and 1,400 members.

“We’re winning the war against the communist terrorist groups. UN special rapporteur Fry allowed himself to be used by the enemies of government,” said Malaya.

Malaya said NTF-ELCAC vice chairman and National Security Adviser Eduardo Año has extended his invitation to Fry for a meeting so the task force can give its side.

“Visit us at the NTF-ELCAC so that we can talk, so we can give our