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PRO4-B launches local peace engagement forum for rebels
THE Police Regional Office 4-B (PRO4-B) headed by Brigadier General Sydney S. Hernia this week launched their localized peace engagement forum with different Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) stakeholders as well as former and active CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)/NPA (New People’s Army) members and supporters – in view of putting an end to the more than 5-decades long communist insurgency in the region, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
The PRO4-B director said that by engaging NPA members and supporters and sympathizers in the region, they have already convinced 47 local rebels to surrender from January 1 to March 10 this year. PRO4-B agents have also arrested 2 NPA guerrillas in the region.
The localized peace engagement first held at the PRO4-B headquarters in Camp Efigenio C. Navarro in Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro is a brainchild of Brig. Gen. Hernia, realized with the support of the Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTC-ELCAC) chaired by DILG Region 4-B head Wilhelm M. Suyko.
According to the PRO4-B director, the RTC-ELCAC is the regionalized version of the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) which adopts a “whole-of-nation approach” to attain an inclusive and sustainable peace in insurgency-affected areas in the country.
The LPE is an inter-agency cluster composed of representatives from the PNP (Philippine National Police), the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) tasked to carry out localized peace talks, through community consultation and peace dialogues with NPA members in Mimaropa region to resolve various social issues which are perceived as the root causes of insurgency.
Brig. Gen. Hernia said that during the initial launching of the forum, they talked with 24 local NPA members operating in the region who have expressed their willingness to renounce their allegiance to the CPP/NPA/NDF (National Democratic Front) and return to the mainstream of the society.
“All 24 have voiced out their decision to leave the NPA movement and return to the mainstream society as free and productive citizens as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government,” the official said.
Brig. Gen. Hernia also lauded the RTF-ELCAC MIMAROPA particularly the LPE cluster for facilitating the said forum to bridge the gap between the government and the NPA.
“Hindi baril ang kasagutan sa insurhensiya sa ating bansa kundi isang tapat at makatotohanang localized peace talks,” said the official.
The PRO4-B is in charge of keeping peace and order in the Mimaropa region which is composed of the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.