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PIA Press Release
2007/11/07

Leyte Bantay Bayan makes for successful anti-insurgency program

Tacloban City (November 7) -- The great number of people joining the organization of Bantay Bayan in the insurgency-stricken barangays in the province of Leyte, makes a very successful anti-insurgency program.

Jointly organized by the local government units and the 19th Infantry Commando Battalion under the 802 Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, Bantay Bayan is a manifestation that the government has gained the trust, confidence and support of the people in the relentless campaign against insurgency.

In fact, the capture of several CPP-NPA members and leaders in the recent past, has been largely due to the information relayed by the barangay people themselves, to the military.

Just in the middle of August, 2007, Lt. Col. Lope C. Dagoy, Commanding Officer of the 19th Infantry "Commando" Battalion and elements of the Information Team of 8ID, PA led by Cpt. Loel Egos (INF) PA, spearheaded the successful conduct of Grand Pulong-pulong and Joint Mass Oath-taking Ceremony to the 1,248 strong members of the newly organized Bantay Bayan, Women and Youth Organizations of Barangays Consuegra and Ugbon, both of Leyte, Leyte held at the Barangay auditorium.

The event was attended and witnessed by Col Raoul Reyes INF (GSC) PA, the new Commanding Officer of 802nd Brigade, 8ID, Philippine Army and Hon Mayor Armando "Amay" Ysidoro, the Municipal Mayor of Leyte, Leyte.

The activity is a clear demonstration of the collaboration and coordination between the Philippine Army and the Local Government of Leyte, Leyte in addressing the insurgency problem in the 3rd District of Leyte where a number of Guerrilla Bases of the communist terrorist NPAs were successfully established by the insurgents which are now systematically destroyed one by one by the unit.

This scenario has been done in other insurgency stricken barangays in the province of Leyte. The thrust of the said activity is to bring the local government closer to the people in the affected areas and that basic services to these areas will be addressed collectively, along with other concerned agencies of the government.

Common issues raised by the people during the Pulong-Pulong are directly brought by the Philippine Army before the local government and other agencies concerned in the presence of the affected people. In fact, the military has been active in poverty alleviation measures such as the conduct of livelihood trainings to people in the barangays.

In return, the LGUs and other concerned agencies will have the opportunity to present their programs for poverty alleviation that these affected people must know and can readily avail of.

The organization of Bantay-bayan in insurgency affected barangays is a means to solidify the gains of the government in winning back the trust and confidence of the affected people. It also hopes to ensure unity and common understanding of the problems besetting the people so that the LGUs will be able to respond, to guide and assist them.

The barangay people in the barangays realize that the Communist Terrorists are taboos and that insurgency is never the solution to their problems. In fact, the people clearly presented that the Communist Terrorists' influence in these affected areas has further brought them deeper into the abyss of hopelessness and economic deprivation as the CTs were continuously bleeding them to death through their revolutionary taxation.

It was learned from the barangay folks themselves that not even a simple farm to market road can easily be made in these affected barangays due to the harassment and extortion activities of the CTs against local contractors.

These kind of activities which the military in Leyte and the entire 8th Infantry Division have been doing, amplifies the present thrust of President Gloria Arroyo, "enhanced civil-military relations to reinforce the people's support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its operations against lawless elements."

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo believes that to be effective, the government must have the support of the people. (PIA 8) [top]

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