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MisOcc LGU and PNP take lead role in Peace and Order

Camp Sang-an, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur - The The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division led by Brigadier General Gerardo F Barrientos Jr, Provincial Government of Misamis Occidental led by Governor Herminia M. Ramiro and PNP thru the Police Regional Office 10 led by Police Chief Superintendent Isagani Francisco Genabe Jr. jointly signed the Memorandum of Agreement on the Joint Declaration of the Province of Misamis Occidental as “Conflict Manageable and Development Ready” on November 7, 2014; 1:00 p.m. at the Provincial Cultural and Farmers’ Training Center, Capitol, Oroquieta City.

The Joint Signing Ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of Liga ng Barangay (LnB) Presidents from all the provinces of Mindanao that were attending the 1st Mindanao Congress. The signing of the MOA was also witnessed by Senator Teofisto Guingona III who was the guest speaker for the opening ceremony of the Liga ng Barangay Presidents’ Congress.

This initiative of the 1st Infantry Division is in line with the pronouncement of General Pio Gregorio P Catapang Jr, Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines to fast track the hand-over of Internal Peace and Security Operations to the Provincial Governments and local Philippine National Police to pave the way for economic growth and development in the communities.

The declaration of Misamis Occidental as “Conflict Manageable and Development Ready” will not affect the deployment of forces but rather enhance the relationship between the LGU-PNP-AFP in response to the various threats in the community such as the presence of Communist Party of the Philippine-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Front (CNN), organized crime groups and other lawless elements.

The issuance of the joint declaration is a manifestation that the level of insurgency in the province has dwindled in the past years due to the continuous decrease of their manpower, firearms, affected barangays and activities. Likewise, the CNN politico-military organizations have been reduced to a minimal level that it no longer pose a serious threat to peace and order in the province.

Brigadier General Gerardo F. Barrientos Jr AFP, Commander of the 1st Infantry Division said, “The joint declaration of Misamis Occidental as Conflict Manageable and Development Ready Province is a manifestation of a generally peaceful environment in the province. It is now ready for further development and tourism. The strength of the NPA in Misamis Occidental has become insignificant and can be readily addressed by the PNP. However, the Tabak Division and AFP as a whole will continue to work with the local government units, other government agencies, the civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to maintain the peace and security in Misamis Occidental and likewise the other provinces in Western Mindanao.”

According to Governor Ramiro, “The signing of this declaration will strengthen and enhance the collaboration and partnership of AFP-LGU-PNP in serving and protecting the people of Misamis Occidental. I assure the communities of MisOcc that there will be no changes in the peace and security set-up of the current Army forces of the AFP because it will continue its efforts together with the PNP in bringing peace and development in our province. This will also provide the province more investment opportunities resulting to infrastructure development, job generation and over-all economic activity.”

Coinciding with the ceremony was the awarding of cash benefit by the provincial government of Misamis Occidental led by Governor Ramiro to a former rebel who surrendered four (4) firearms. The cash assistance amounting to Two Hundred Twenty One Thousand Pesos (P221,000.00) is the recompense for the surrendered firearms under the AFP Gun for Peace Program wherein a corresponding amount will be paid for every firearm that a legitimate NPA member who seeks to surrender would willingly turn over to proper authorities. Surrenderees would also be enrolled to the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) that will give them a livelihood assistance worth Sixty Five Thousand Pesos (P65,000). These programs aim to attract active NPA rebels to abandon the armed struggle and return to mainstream society to rejoin their famiies and start a new life. (TABAK DPAO)

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