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PIA Press Release

LGUs must take lead in insurgency drive, says DavNor gov

by JMD Abangan

TAGUM CITY (24 October) -- Armed conflict that can usually displace local residents, could be prevented if local government officials take the lead in the campaign against insurgency, Davao del Norte Vice governor Anthony del Rosario said.

“Pwedeng malikayan ang armed conflict kung ang LGU (local government unit) ang mag-una,” del Rosario said in the latest edition of the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo.

He also went on suggesting that military offensives against target rebel groups should be well coordinated with LGU officials and that they should be given a chance to say their piece and “tell the military on what we need to do.”

In a separate discussion, del Rosario wanted the local peace and order councils chaired by LGU local chief executives, to take an active role in addressing peace and order concerns particularly insurgency.

Davao del Norte is also bearing a problem on insurgency which the national government has intensified its campaign. Through Executive Order No. 546, “ which directed the Philippine National Police to undertake active support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in internal security operations for the suppression of insurgency and other serious threats to the national security.”

Issued on July 14, 2006, the directive “subject to the concurrence of the appropriate local chief executive through the local peace and order council,” has authorized PNP “to deputize the barangay tanods as force multipliers in the implementation of the peace and order plans in an area.”

It has also directed local chief executives in coordination with the LPOC to “include in the integrated area/community public safety plan of their respective city/municipality the priority program of action/thrust in resolving insurgency and other serious threats to national security. The Local Chief executives are also tasked to ensure appropriations thereto for effective implementation” of the executive order.

In a recent forum with LGU executives of Mindanao, Interior and Local Government secretary Ronaldo Puno said peace and order councils down to the barangay level would be mobilized to help in the government’s anti-terrorism campaign “by keeping an updated list of the community people and reporting anything suspicious.”

“Terrorism has assumed a local character. We should all get involved in keeping our country safe from this global security threat,” Puno said.

DILG has monitored 37,534 of the country’s 41,972 barangays to have already created their own barangay peace and order committees.

Puno urged LGU executives of Mindanao, which has long been suffering from the rebel secessionist movement and the communist insurgency, to draw up a unified plan to fight terrorism. (PIA XI) [top]

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