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PIA Press Release

PNP, PA, Leyte gov sign MOA vs insurgency

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (5 September) -- A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) intended for common understanding, tactical operation, and unified approach on anti-insurgency operations has been signed Tuesday, September 4, at the DPWH Function Hall, this city.

Police Provincial Director Supt. Nilo Donayre signed the MOA for the Philippine National Police (PNP), Lt. Col. Mario Lacurom, Commanding Officer of the 43rd Infantry Battalion based in Sogod affixed his signature for the Philippine Army, and Gov. Damian Mercado did the same in behalf of the province of Southern Leyte.

A few details of the signed MOA were not yet available as of this writing as the PIA was not able to obtain a copy of the document.

But Supt. Donayre told PIA the agreement was in accordance with the President Arroyo's order as contained in Executive Order 546 which she issued recently.

The order stipulated that the PNP would be involved with counter-insurgency measures in the field and not just as a support mechanism, PD Donayre revealed.

He added that in its entirety EO 546 and the MOA that followed focused its scope on the insurgency aspect, but the simple signing ceremony can also be considered as a related activity in the nationwide observance of Crime Prevention week, September 1 7.

Sought for reaction, Gov. Mercado said the MOA showed that the Police, Army, and civilian authorities in the province have been put on heightened readiness in case of movements by the insurgents anywhere in the province.

He stressed, though, that the province maintained its peaceful atmosphere even as government forces are duly alerted to respond accordingly in any threats coming from lawless elements. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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