Kalinga province is now insurgency free
San Fernando City, Pampanga (12 November) -- The 501st Infantry (Valiant) Brigade, Philippine Army which has operational jurisdiction on Internal Security Operations (ISO) of Kalinga Province formally hand-over the primary responsibility for ISO to the Kalinga Provincial Government last November 8, 2010 at Provincial Capitol here.
Highlight of the ceremony was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Kalinga Provincial Government represented by Hon Jocel C Baac, Provincial Governor of Kalinga and the 501st Infantry Brigade, 5ID, PA by Col Yerson E Depayso, Brigade Commander. The activity symbolizes a joint declaration of all parties based from the parameters set forth, that Kalinga Province is declared as an insurgent's free province.
It means that the province is already cleared from CPP/NPA/NDF and that the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New Peoples Army had been decimated. In fact, the province has no more insurgents activities recorded and there were no more insurgency affected barangays of all its total barangay. The parties further agreed to strengthen more Internal Security Operations in order to preempt resurgence of the CPP/NPA/NDF in the province.
The MOA which was read in public by Atty Kristian B Wandag, Kalinga Provincial Legal Officer stipulates and agreed by all parties involved, that the primary lead role in ISO responsibilities will shift from the 501st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army to Kalinga Provincial Government. Likewise, the AFP will shift to support role on ISO in the province in order to focus and concentrate its ISO effort in addressing insurgency problems in other areas of its AOR. Among the salient features in the MOA states that the AFP will not abandon the province and still continue to provide necessary assistance serving the people of Kalinga and ready to re assume ISO upon the request of the Provincial Government.
The 501st Infantry Brigade under the leadership of Col Yerson Depayso and its sub ordinate unit, the 21st Infantry Battalion were able conceptualized, implemented and supervised coordinating plans and activities for the realization of hand over of ISO lead role from the AFP to Provincial Government of Kalinga. During the narration on the history of insurgency of Kalinga which was read by CPT ADONIS B BANEZ, Brigade Information Officer revealed, that the neutralization of the CPP/NPA/NDF in the province can be attributed to the local government executives' willingness to immediately end up the insurgency problem, the cooperation of the people to their local leaders and to government troops is paramount in addressing the insurgency problem of the province.
Governor Jocel C Baac of the province of Kalinga warmly welcomed the hand over and strongly assured the AFP to continuously spearhead campaigns against insurgency in his province and to deny any recruitment activities by the CPP/NPA/NDF thereat. He further told and reinforced that residents who joined the underground organizations, were just deceived by the CPP/NPA/NPA. The people realized later that said organization has no purpose at all but to continuously destroy the future of their families.
He added that the said undertaking conducted was a success and thanked the 501st Infantry Brigade for their initiative and conceptualization for the realization of the activity which will not only showcase the stable peace and order condition of the province where development activities and investment will continuously enhance. "The province will surely encourage domestic and foreign investors to put up their businesses and through it, our province will generate greater income for more provincial projects". "We have to safeguard the province against all threats and will never allow them to reenter again in our territory" the governor ended.
He further appreciated and gave recognition to the coordinated effort of the 501st Infantry Brigade, the Kalinga People and other peace agencies which is a good spice for an aggressive and upright political leadership contributory to achieving and maintaining peace and continuous development in the province. "If peace is continuously maintained and feel by the residents, greater achievements will not be far-fetched for the province of Kalinga and may all the residents show-off unity and cooperation today and in the future to maintain a peaceful and dynamic community which is conducive to live in, as we fulfill our dreams and purpose, he ended.
BGen Pompeo V Limbo, Assistant Division Commander of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army who represented MGen Rommel A Gomez said in his speech that the AFP in the province will still continue its mandated mission, to serve the people of Kalinga and protect the integrity of the province against all threats. He further said, "we are not abandoning or leaving the province but we are only shifting our focus or concentration for ISO in other areas. The Internal Security Defense System (ITDS) through the CAFGU and Barangay Tanod will be more strengthened to reinforce the peace agencies", he ended.
Prior the hand over of the province, all eight (8) municipalities of Kalinga had accepted the primary responsibility of ISO in their respective municipalities through their municipal government under their respective mayors. The hand over ceremony and signing of memorandum of understanding were conducted during the regular flag raising and were witnessed by local government leaders, other local government officials, government employee's and residents of the province. It is the second province of Cordillera Administrative Region next to Apayao which was handed over the Internal Security Operation to its Provincial Government. (NOLCOM thru PIA 3) [top]