Bataan de­clared Cen­tral Lu­zon’s first in­sur­gency-free prov­ince

Sun.Star Baguio - - THE NATION -

HERMOSA, Bataan -Bataan, es­pe­cially the town of Sa­mal, used to be known as the hot­bed of in­sur­gency.

But on Thurs­day, Gov­er­nor Al­bert Gar­cia an­nounced that the prov­ince was the first in Cen­tral Lu­zon to be de­clared as free from rebel pres­ence and atroc­i­ties.

“This is be­cause of eco­nomic growth, jobs that were cre­ated, bet­ter lives that re­sulted de­spite the fact that some years ago, Bataan was like a home base or ground zero for com­mu­nist in­sur­gency,” Gar­cia said.

The gov­er­nor also gave credit to the mil­i­tary, po­lice and other law en­force­ment agen­cies for their ef­forts in help­ing solve the in­sur­gency prob­lem in the prov­ince.

“No com­mu­nist ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties were mon­i­tored in Bataan for pe­riod Jan­uary 2018 to present,” said Lt. Col. Ar­nel Cabu­gun, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the Army’s 48th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion, in his re­port to the Pro­vin­cial Peace and Or­der Coun­cil chaired by Gar­cia.

Se­nior In­spec­tor Jennifer Cruz, Sa­mal po­lice chief, said the town used to be well­known as a rebel-in­fested mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The agri­cul­tural town hit the news head­lines when some­time in 1986, bare­foot armed com­mu­nist rebels marched on the street to wel­come Na­tional Demo­cratic Front (NDF) co­founder Satur Ocampo.

“Sa­mal is now con­sid­ered as one of the in­sur­gency-free mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Bataan be­cause of var­i­ous liveli­hood and other pro­grams im­ple­mented by Mayor Gene dela Fuente that re­sulted to more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and bet­ter life for res­i­dents,” she said.

Cruz cited pro­grams on agri­cul­ture and projects on capiz which is a ma­jor prod­uct in the town and cas­sava-mak­ing that has be­come an ex­port in­dus­try.

“Peace and or­der sit­u­a­tion greatly im­proved. With ad­di­tional per­son­nel, bet­ter equip­ment, po­lice have made reg­u­lar rounds of the vil­lages,” the lady po­lice chief said.

Cruz also gave credit to the good rap­port be­tween po­lice, mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials and the com­mu­nity for the fa­vor­able peace and or­der con­di­tion in the town.

On the po­lice in­dex crime so­lu­tion in the prov­ince, Gov­er­nor Gar­cia said the num­ber has greatly low­ered. “Bataan will re­main as one of the most peace­ful prov­inces in the coun­try,” he said.

Pam­panga was the sec­ond prov­ince in Re­gion 3 to be de­clared as in­sur­gency free, ac­cord­ing to the gov­er­nor.

Gar­cia said that as Cen­tral Lu­zon chair of the Re­gional Peace and Or­der Coun­cil, he will work for mak­ing the other prov­inces also in­sur­gency free.

On the drug prob­lem, Bataan seems to also be mak­ing a head­way.

“There is no more il­le­gal drugs in Bataan. There is an on­go­ing fol­low-up to the po­lice re­gional di­rec­tor on the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that Bataan is now drug-free,” Se­nior Supt. Marcelo Dayag, Bataan po­lice di­rec­tor, said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.