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PIA Press Release

Siquijor to host reg'l peace and order council meeting

By Rizalie Anding Calibo

Siquijor (2 June) -- The province of Siquijor will host on June 10 the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-7) meeting. Among the proposed agenda are the turn-over of Internal Security Operations (ISO) from Central Command to the Philippine National Police (PNP), report on the functionality of Anti-Drug Councils (ADACs) in Region -7, Peace and Order Situation and Drug Situation.

Internal security operation is one of the areas given emphasis in reorganizing the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) as directed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through signing last year the Executive Order No. 739 to address insurgency and other threats to national security.

To note, the US has been a great partner of the Philippines in the fight against terrorist over the past several years. The top security official of the administration of United States President Barack Obama on Monday renewed the commitment of his government in helping the Philippines address threats posed by terrorists and extremist groups.

In a press conference at the Armed Forces general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo , US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is also looking forward for a broader and deeper defense cooperation with the Philippines.

Gates and Philippine Defense Secretary earlier figured in a one-on-meeting inside the camp to discuss issues of mutual concerns, including the global threat of terrorism and responding to the threat of disasters.

"Over the last decade, the Philippines has faced a number of security challenges and has met them squarely. This is testimony to Secretary Teodoro's strong leadership, his efforts to reform the Armed Forces and a courage and adaptability of the Filipino military," said Gates.

ISO, functionality of ADACs, Peace and Order Situation and Drug Situation were also were also taken up during the RPOC 7 meeting in Dumaguete City earlier where the council, led by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia declares an all out war against illegal drugs as she warns that drug menace continues to grow as "monster".

Members of the council from the different law enforcement agencies and local government units in the region unanimously declared support after Rep. George Arnaiz of 2nd District of Negros Oriental noted that the campaign against illegal drugs was hindered due to lack of coordination among law enforcers.

With this, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia tasked each agency to sit together and create a committee to come up with a program against drugs to further strengthen the government's all-out war against illegal drug. She also called on agencies to address the existing "struggle of authority" among the law enforcers.

Likewise, the Siquijor Provincial Peace Order Council in its meeting Wednesday (May 27) at the Provincial Capitol, updated and finalized its Integrated Community Public Safety Plan (IACPSP) which also tackles areas on crime prevention, law enforcement, prosecution and courts, correction, counter-insurgency/terrorism, disaster management, environmental protection, fire prevention and suppression, community development and health and sanitation. (PIA) [top]

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