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PIA Press Release

Ifugao can manage its internal security operation, says military

by Dan B. Codamon

Lagawe, Ifugao (6 March) -- The military is very confident that Ifugao can manage its internal security operation and that the army will only play secondary or back up role based on the present situation of the province.

This was the pronouncement made by Lt. Colonel Adel Navata of the 54th IB, 5th Division of the Philippine Army based at Barangay Baguinge, Kiangan during a recent meeting held with some provincial officials.

Navata said most worthy of praise that they gathered during their early stint in the community is the warm welcome of the people, their hospitality and the strong cooperation and support of the local officials especially in the anti-insurgency campaign of the government.

He said that one of the result of this strong and close cooperation of the people and officials of Ifugao is the capture of four suspected communists terrorists in Gumhang, Tinoc and the confiscation of their five firearms and boxes of explosives late last year because the community reported their presence to the police and the military. This indicate the great disdain of the Ifugao people against these enemies of the state after their sad experiences in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the New People's Army which they vow never again to repeat, Navata said.

Communist insurgents and other rebels and terrorists are no longer accepted in this province despite the economic crisis and hardships in living, Navata declared.

These suspects are under detention and are facing charges for with illegal possession of firearms and explosives at the Regional Trial Court Branch 14 here.

Navata informed that the Philippine National Police will still perform the primary role of law enforcement and internal security operation and the Army will only play supportive function and upon request by local officials or the police. He however clarified that the military will still continue to conduct information, education and communication campaign to the far-flung communities of Ifugao regarding the evils of the communist ideology to insulate the people from the influences of such ideologues and demagogues and those communist rebels coming from the nearby provinces of Benguet, Mt. Province, Abra, Kalinga, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya.

This is to ensure and maintain Ifugao as a communist insurgent-free province and a generally peaceful community to live with. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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