During a recent dialogue with National Security Council Deputy Director General Vicente M. Agdamag and the Abra Provincial Task Force (PTF)-ELCAC led by Gov. Maria Jocelyn Bernos, the IMPRs affirmed that their ancestral domains are zones of peace, hence their communities do not want to be disturbed and trampled by armed conflicts. IPMRs of the three conflict-affected municipalities and BUDABOSA area (Bucloc, Daguioman, Boliney and Sallapadan) even individually expressed their position against the CTGs.
They also signed a pledge of commitment firmly supporting President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 or the whole of nation approach to end insurgency in the country towards the attainment of sustainable and inclusive peace.
The IPs were also oriented about E.0. 70, the stages of recruitment by the CTGs and their exploitations of the IP communities and the role of IPs in the combat against insurgency.
One of the main issues raised by the elders is the apparent focus of government to CTG influenced and threatened barangays. How about incentives also for barangays which are not threatened or influenced by the CTGs.
Bernos clarified that allowing insurgency in their areas must not be their reason just to acquire project and funds.
“Just because the government grants more priority projects and funds for the affected barangays, this should not be your reason not to continue fighting insurgency anymore,” she stressed.
She enjoined their sincerity and commitment to participate the battle against insurgency by protecting their lands and ancestral domains against the CTGs.
Agdamag assured the IPs that their concerns will be reported to the President for immediate action planning. He shared that the President last January approved the package of P34 billion for the 842 affected barangays including all the listed barangays of the province of Abra. (JDP/CAGT-PIA CAR, Abra)