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PIA Press Release
2007/09/21

Army downplays role in Comval political reconciliation

by RG Alama

Davao City (21 September) -- Brig. General Carlos Holganza, commanding general of the Philippine Army's 1001st Infantry Brigade downplayed their role in the successful reconciliation efforts between two feuding political officials in Compostela Valley province.

"We were just conduits in the efforts of both parties to reconcile." Holganza said referring to Comval Governor Arturo "Chiongkee" Uy and Monkayo Mayor Manuel "Jun" Brilliantes, both which openly feuded particularly during the recent 2007 elections.

Several talks between the two parties were conducted in Davao City and last Tuesday (Sept. 18) the reconciliation was sealed when Mayor Brilliantes went to the Capitol in Nabunturan to seek an audience with the Governor.

Brig. Gen Holganza and Phil. National Police Provincial Director Ronald dela Rosa were said to be instrumental in bringing Uy and Brilliantes to talk together as police and military officials noted that the feud tend to aggravate security problems in Comval province which hosts at least six New People's Army fronts.

The NPA thrive on this conflict, they are the only ones that will benefit from the feud. Holganza said. The feud reared it ugly head when last month both parties accused each other of abetting communist insurgents particularly in the acts of atrocities committed by the rebels in Monkayo.

Holganza said these poses a problem for the province as he said that the current two Army battalions deployed in the province is not enough to answer the security problems caused by the political conflict and those posed by the presence of the NPA fronts.

Holganza said that the two parties were manifesting a collective desire to bring development to their reconciliation efforts. "sila talaga ang gusto na makipagbati (they were really one who wanted reconciliation), they were showing signs of softening up their positions." Holganza said. (PIA XI) [top]

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