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PIA Press Release

Samar gov says national security, everyone's burden

By Sylvia C. Serfino

Catbalogan, Samar (5 December) -- Over 5000 people representing delegations from 15 Samar towns recently marched through the streets of Catbalogan, Samar's capital town, to protest the atrocities committed by the NPA and the black propaganda it spews in efforts to misled people and recruit members and supporters.

The march, which featured placards and streamers denouncing communism and its armed group, the NPA, highlighted, as well as put to a close a district-wide peace and development forum initiated by the 8th Infantry Division (8ID) with the theme, "Patriotism for Peace and Development".

Samar Governor Milagrosa T. Tan who addressed the participants, most of whom came from far-flung and propaganda-vulnerable areas, stressed that each and everyone "must share in the burden and responsibility of nationals security and stability". She also said that national security is not the task of the military alone, "if we expect quality citizenry and a high degree of mass support, that alone can make democratic growth possible".

Tan further emphasized the need to stop pitting Filipino against Filipino, a divisive trait being fostered by dissident elements. She said, false promises made by the NPA cannot stand beside the military's willingness to serve beyond their mandate to secure and protect lives and property, just as peace-loving people cannot ignore the fact that the NPA's doctrine and deceit characterize the dissident army's terroristic activities.

The Samar Governor claimed she does not believe in Samar's poverty, citing the natural resources that abound in the province and the other P60 million that remains in the provincial coffers. She further informed her audience that during her first term as Samar Governor, she had to contend with a P70 million debt incurred by her predecessors and which was paid under her administration in less than 3 years.

"We are debt-free province," Gov. Tan said. "If there are bank representatives making calls on us, they are not collecting, they are offering us loans," she further explained. With everyone joining in the peace efforts, only good things can happen in the province, she further added.

In her message, the lady Governor, likewise, acknowledged the 8th Infabtry Division (8ID), its officers and men for their commitment and dedication to the pursuit of peace and development.

Curbing insurgency not the task of military alone

The threats posed by terrorists and the NPA should be dealt with aggressively on a coordinated day-to-day basis, as these may dampen the mood of the public during the Yuletide season. Thus, said PIA Director-General Renato Velasco in a recent commentary which, at the same time assured, that government is in full control of the situation.

On the local front, Samar Governor Milagrosa T. Tan recently cited the efforts of the officers and men of the 8th Infantry Division (8ID) to contain insurgency and dispel the threats of dissident elements, particularly the NPA. Gov Tan was one of those who addressed a district-wide peace and development forum held at Camp Lukban, Brgy. MAulong, Catbalogan, Samar.

Gov. Tan, however, stressed that each and everyone "must share in the burden and responsibility of national security and stability". She said that "quality citizenry and a high degree of mass support that is crucial to democratic growth is not the task of the military alone".

Tan added that with the year about to end and the holiday season now upon us, we should all work for peace and stop Filipinos pitting themselves against each other and creating a divisiveness that only bring about negative and unproductive results.

The Governor expressed confidence that with the military and civilian sectors working together the economic upliftment of the people would be the priority concern of all. She, likewise, asked her constituents to support the 8th Infantry Division, under the command of Maj. Gen. Bonifacio Ramos, and its programs which seek to make Samar an insurgency-free province. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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