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PIA Press Release

ComVal gov gets tough vs rebels using left-arm approach

by JMD Abangan

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley Province (11 September) -- He wants to get tough against rebel groups but he wants it shown using a left-arm approach.

During the Kapihan sa Comvalheld recently, Governor Arturo T. Uy of Compostela Valley Province said he would not go for arms versus arms against the communist rebels in the province.

The provincial government will be conducting medical missions targeting far-flung places with mass base of the New People's Army.

Uy wants the medical missions be budgeted with enough funding for medicines so that indigent residents in target areas would be substantially served.

He also bared his interest to go with the Brigadier Carlos Holganza, commanding general of 1001st Infantry Brigade, in his campaign among students for them to understand the advantage of staying within the folds of the law.

Uy will also be coming up with education programs that would provide children in far-flung areas access to schools.

"Nakikita ko, karamihan sa mga NPA, kulang sa pag-aaral at nakabata pa nila mga 18, 19, 20, 21. (I have seen most of the NPAs are lacking in education and they are so young; they're 18, 19, 20, 21 years old)," he said.

Uy was talking about his observation when he came across with NPA leaders and members during the recent turn-over of a soldier abducted by the rebel group.

He said he asked some members of the group to go back to the law and offered them livelihood and education.

"Pero ang sabi lang sa akin, salamat," Uy said. "But still we are serious in our fight against insurgency," he added.

Uy said the province has six rebel fronts whose number, he said can be attributed to the rich natural resources, particularly in mining, from which the they can draw means of sustaining their operation.

Enhanced civil-military relations to reinforce the people's support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its operations against lawless elements is the present thrust of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who believes that "to be effective, the armed forces must have the support of the people as proven successful by the Bohol experience," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said taking note of the recently held Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) held in Bohol.

President Arroyo is also counting on local government chief executives for government to win in the fight against insurgency and terrorism (PIA XI) [top]

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