Author Topic: Laguna declared 'insurgency-free'  (Read 2377 times)

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Laguna declared 'insurgency-free'
« on: September 29, 2019, 04:04:09 AM »
Laguna declared 'insurgency-free'
By Saul Pa-a  September 27, 2019, 7:50 pm

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1081693

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Laguna is now an “insurgency-free” province following the joint military and government declaration and signing of the documents as an area with “Stable Internal Peace and Security” (SIPS).

In a ceremonial signing at the Laguna Provincial Capitol on Thursday, Gov. Ramil Hernandez inked the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., Commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) which has military operational jurisdiction over Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon)

Hernandez and Burgos signed the agreement during the Provincial Peace and Order Council attended by Laguna mayors, officials from government agencies, and the military and police commanders in the province.

Laguna is the second among the five Calabarzon provinces and the country's fourth province with such declaration after Cavite province pioneered in the country as SIPS on Dec. 4 last year.

This year, Romblon announced its declaration on February 21 while Marinduque followed on March 25.

Col. Alex Rillera, Commander of 202nd Infantry Brigade, presented the parameters where a locality has met the necessary requirements to be declared free from insurgency.

“Such declaration is a testament of Laguna’s peace-loving people’s desire to liberate themselves from the clutches of terrorism and instead harness their economic potentials by ensuring peace in their community,” Rillera said.

Under the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) phases of normalization, a province is given the SIPS status if no violent terroristic activity has been conducted by the NPAs for at least one year.

Based on the military records, no atrocity has been recorded in Laguna for more than a year now.

“This rare distinction was attained through the national and local governments’ concerted efforts in providing lasting solutions to the issues which the NPAs are exploiting, thus, denying the terrorists the ability to recruit our people,” Hernandez said.

The governor is confident that by being known as an insurgency-free area, “businesses will further flourish and prosperity shall become a way of life in every corner of Laguna.”

During the ceremony, the national government also awarded some PHP584,000 as firearms remunerations to some 12 former rebels, as part of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Burgos said the declaration and handover of grants are tangible proofs of the government’s “serious and sincere desire to finally attain national unity by ending the local communist armed conflict.”

“The quest for an inclusive peace is now on the doorstep of each Filipino,” Burgos said.

The handover of cheques for firearms remuneration to the former rebels was the second of such undertaking in the Calabarzon after five former rebels received around PHP302,000 on Sept. 20 at Barangay Magsaysay in Infanta, Quezon.

“There is now the unified stand of the local chief executives in operationalizing President Rodrigo Duterte's directive through the different Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts (ELCAC) at all levels of government," Burgos said.

The 2ID commanding general also congratulated all Lagunenses for their support in bringing about peace in the province.

“I am calling on the few remaining NPA Terrorists to surrender and be part of the solution to help our country regain its glory so that our people may finally enjoy the peace, prosperity, and development which every Filipino citizen truly deserve,” Burgos said. (PNA)