Samar mayor rallies constituents behind army and police
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (12 February) -- San Jorge Mayor Nancy Grey urged her constituents to join forces with peace keeping agencies in the fight against insurgency in Samar.
Addressing some 500 barangay folks organized by the army as Civilian Volunteers Organizations (CVO), Grey urged them to help the army and police as she said peacekeeping is everyone's responsibility.
The barangay offcials and some CVOs attended the seminar for CVO awareness on Fabruary 8-9 at the San Jorge covered gym.
Talking in flawless Waray-waray, Grey encouraged her constituents to report those who oppose the national goal of keeping peace and development in their barangay.
She added that the deterrent to development in Samar is the peace and order situation which drives out investors interested to invest in the area.
She said, the Samarenos are always confronted with fear and is unable to move because she is prevented by fear to venture into his own environment for livelihood.
"Mahinungdanon an papel han CVO ha pagpatuman han kamurayaw ha aton mga lugar," (The role of the CVO is relevant to ensure that peace prevail in our lands), the mayor reiterated.
As the populace lives in fear, development is compromised and people remain poor and undeveloped, the mayor shared, obviously saddened by this realization.
He urged them to be responsible in maintaining peace in their barangay and join the army and police for their peacekeeping effort as the local government unit share the same vision: that of maintaining peace and order for eventual development to stay.
Lt Col Bonifacio Cebrian, Commanding Officer of the 46th IB commended the woman-mayor for her commitment and cooperation with the peace keeping initiatives in his battalion.
In related development, President Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo in her speech during the Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) in Minadano said "The terrorists stand in the way of bringing peace, stability and order to Southern Philippines. We have decided we must wipe them out once and for all. They are a menace to peace," she stressed.
The President commended the police and the armed forces for their heroic efforts, adding that "we regret and mourn with the families of those soldiers who have been caught in the line of fire."
She reiterated her observation that "the Communist rebels have spent years as a low-level threat" and that, therefore, "it is time for their disruption of human rights to be put to rest so that the nation can move ahead."
"They impede the progress and development of a number of rural areas and they are responsible for a wide range of human rights abuses. If we are to become a First World country, we have to put a stop to their ideological nonsense and their criminal acts once and for all. I have specified a timeline – 2010 – to end armed rebellion," the President said.
Because of the urgency in wiping out terrorism, the President let it be known that "I extended the term of AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon for three months because I want him to continue the AFP's current initiatives in fighting terrorism."
As for Mindanao, the President said her administration has so far "achieved a great deal – the island is vastly improved in terms of safety, security and economic growth."
"Our paradigm for peace in the island is really making things better; it will really take off if we achieve lasting peace and the millions of foreign aid promised comes pouring in..."
Earlier on Friday, the President flew to Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental where she inspected the Diosdado Macapagal Bridge and spearheaded the groundbreaking of the P824.45-million Gingoog-Claveria-Villanueva Road improvement and concreting project.
She then proceeded to Kapalong, Davao del Norte for the launching of the construction of the P1.5-billion Kapalong-Talaingod-Valencia City-Bukidnon Road, a major component of the government's "surge in infrastructure" spending program this year. (PIA-Samar) [top]