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PIA Press Release

RPOC 8 chair calls for creation of security protocol for foreign, local NGOs visiting Eastern Visayas

Tacloban City (November 27) -- The Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman and Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla, during the November 26 meeting of the council called for the development of a Protocol for foreign or local Non-Government Organizations visiting Region 8 in order to ensure their security while they are in the Region.

The RPOC chair said that often times, the Local Government Units and the security forces of government are not informed of the presence of visiting NGOs.

Governor Petilla cited the case of the GTZ who requested that protocol be established between the Local Government, the NGO and the law enforcement agencies, to ensure the safety of their staff traveling in the various areas of the Region.

The RPOC chairman directed the Philippine National Police, the 8th Infantry Division and the secretariat to make the draft of the protocol and report the same to the body.

The main purpose of the Protocol is to communicate the procedures involved in receiving international and local NGOs respectfully and responsibly and ensuring that their stay in the Region is secured.

The move of the GTZ came after the Kananga crossfire incident took place in the middle of November at Kananga, Leyte which took the life of three civilians including that of a reknowned botanist.

The military in the area claimed they did not have any information about the presence of civilians in the insurgency stricken area. Had they been informed then they would have secured the area and not allowed that civilians be caught in between the infightings of the government forces and the insurgents. (PIA 8) [top]

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