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PIA Press Release

PGMA to approve recommendations of RPOC

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (6 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is expected to approve the recommendations submitted by the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) of Southern Mindanao.

RPOC chair Governor Douglas RA Cagas in an interview said they had forwarded their recommendations through Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno over the weekend and they were assured that their concerns will be acted favorably.

Cagas said the Council saw the need to restructure the RPOC and to remove those non functioning units.

He said they also proposed for the establishment of a permanent office in Davao City probably at the DILG XI office which approved the proposal.

Cagas also said they included in their recommendation that RPOC will dedicate 25 percent of its function to peace and order and internal security as they deemed it appropriate that their remaining task be focused in rehabilitation and development of individuals and communities involved in conflict areas.

Meanwhile Cagas also bared that the business sector also asked for their support in the wake of series of attacks by the New Peoples Army which affected some business establishments and individuals.

He said they have plans with the business sector and they will be together in working for it.

Although he did not elaborate Cagas said they will be working with the business and private sectors in their plans for defense, rehabilitation and development of the communities.

"The private sector should assist in the matter of peace and order and community development because they are affected and we understand their point," he said.

He said the war with the New Peoples Army and the military and police has been there and the government forces will be there to defend. The war has been there and besides there is no peace negotiation," he said.

But the local government, he said, are given free hand to negotiate with the rebels in the local movement because there could be old members in the group who wanted to surrender and rejoin their families.

"For all we know these people are just like us who wanted to live with their families with the assurance of assistance offered by the government," he said. (PIA) [top]

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