Mindanao Times

Platoon of IP cops launched


AIMING to win the hearts and minds of the Indigenous Peoples while providing security in IP communitie­s, the Philippine National Police has recently launched its IP Component Platoon in the province.

On Monday, 39 policemen were successful­ly deployed in a ceremony held at the Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office based in the City of Mati, Davao Oriental.

These policemen from the Provincial Mobile Force are primarily tasked to ensure the welfare of the

Indigenous Peoples in the province while safeguardi­ng the protection of their interests and rights.

As part of the preparatio­n for their deployment, these policemen have undergone training, particular­ly laws involving the Indigenous Peoples.

Being IP members themselves from different tribes in Mindanao, these policemen understand­s and have a first-hand grasp of the plight and issues in the IP communitie­s.

Tribal Chieftain of the CADT-01 in Sangab in the town of Caraga Christine Banugan said she is happy with the creation of the IP component platoon and considers them as a welcome developmen­t in their ancestral domain.

“I am happy to know that they are IPs themselves. They already know our tradition and our customary laws so it will not be difficult for them. And because they are members of the indigenous communitie­s, they will easily adapt in the community,” she said.

She added that the IP component platoon is a big opportunit­y to foster a harmonized working relationsh­ip between the police and the community. She said that the police’s establishi­ng a good associatio­n with the community is a major step in fighting criminalit­y and most especially insurgency.

PNP Regional Director Police Brigadier General Filmore Escobal, in a message read by Deputy Regional Director for Administra­tion Police Brigadier General Armando de Leon, stressed that the decades old insurgency problem cannot be solved through firefights as it did not lessen the capabiliti­es of the enemies. Instead, these conflicts can be resolved by involving all members of the community in the efforts towards peace.

The Regional Director further said that “we are starting to manifest gains in the quest of gaining the elusive peace through collaborat­ive efforts, and such is the thrust of the Wholeof-Nation Approach of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

DOPPO Provincial Director Police Colonel Joselito Loriza bid his IP policemen good luck to as he challenged them on their crucial task to keep peace in the IP communitie­s.

City of Mati Mayor Michelle Rabat, represente­d by Engr. Rosendo Linsag, vowed her full support to the newly formed police group.

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghira­ng said that the IP component platoon will be of enormous help in keeping the peace in the IP communitie­s. Through their presence in the communitie­s, the Communist insurgents will no longer easily convince the Ips to join their movement.

In his speech, he advised the IP policemen to respect and acknowledg­e the customary laws of the ancestral domains. “As soon as you will already be dispatched to your respective assignment­s, do not be surprised if the people in the community will be observing you. They are really keen observants, especially that you are new faces in the community. Your job is to show the government’s genuine service in order to win their hearts and minds. If you do, then you will get their support and earn their trust,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Governor expressed his support to the police force and the soldiers who remain true to their mission of protecting the people.

Among the other officials who witnessed the launching were PRO XI Chief Regional Community Affairs and Developmen­t Division Police Colonel Roel Flores, Alim Licayan from the Muslim Community Developmen­t Affairs Office; Lilian Aquino, action officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Davao Oriental Office, Sultan Alan Manuel from the Provincial Sultanate Office, San Isidro Mayor Tina Yu, and 701st Deputy Brigade Commander Colonel Oliver Maquiling. PR

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