So said Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the recent meeting of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) which he chairs.
'We are very much concentrated on our problem on this COVID-19 and we tend to disregard issues and concerns around us like this peace and order situation,' the mayor noted.
One of the issues discussed is about the alleged student activists-turned-commanders of the New People’s Army who are operating in the Cordillera. The City is a hub for education of the North where top universities and schools are found.
‘We ask the parents and guardians to keep close contact of their children especially on their extra curricular activities and when they go home very late. For the barangay officials, they should know what is happening in their area of responsibility,’ the mayor emphasized.
It has been noted that even during the implementation of community quarantine, some members front groups held forum and prayer rally in the city.
Magalong said gone are the days when insurgency is a problem only of the military and the police. Now, insurgency has become an inter-sectoral/ inter-department t concern that requires a whole of nation approach, utilizing all resources of government and involvement of all especially the private sector to attain lasting peace in the country.
The whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict or Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte shows that the government is sincere in ending insurgency in the country, he added.
PGen. R’win Pagkalinawan, regional director of Police Regional Office – Cordillera, shared that peace and order is a partnership between the local government units where the chief executive is on top while the police and the Army will adhere to the directives of the LGUs. A very good example is Sadanga Mayor Gabby Ganggangan who is very active and vocal on the fight against insurgency. (JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)
By Joseph B. Zambrano