Thursday, 12 April 2012 12:10
The Philippine Army in Basilan deploys on Tuesday 250-strong members of the 28Bayanihan Teams to all the barangays of Tuburan and Akbar towns and selected barangays of Maluso town, Lamitan and Isabela cities.
In the launching ceremony held at the BasilanProvincial Capitol grounds, 104th Brigade Commander Col. RicardoVisaya (PA) said that many do not have a good grasp of the conflict and war inBasilan. “It takes a lot of understanding in solving the problem and we aremaking some changes in our approach, thus we have the Internal Peace andSecurity Plan or the Bayanihan,” he said.
“Ayaw po nating lalong malugmok and Basilansa terorismo,” Visaya said as he appealed for patience of the people and seethe difference in time.
He said 80% of the soldiers deployed asBayanihan Teams are Muslims. He is confident that the teams could make adifference in their assigned communities, hoping that their presence in thecommunity will bring about some changes soon.
“The success of soldiers cannot be measuredby the number of wars won, but on how we maintain the peace,” Visaya stressedas he appealed for more collaboration and coordination of efforts toward theattainment of peace and development in Basilan.
Meanwhile, Basilan Vice Governor Al-RasheedSakkalahul lauded the military in strengthening its civil-military worksthrough the Bayanihan Teams. He reminded the soldiers about their role inpromoting and encouraging feuding families to amicable settlement of disputesor ‘rido’ as part of their mission.
The Bayanihan Teams are also expected toconduct medical and dental outreach programs, assist in the construction offarm-to-market roads, school buildings, comfort rooms, and day care centers,among others.
“Let our constituents feel that theadvocacies and purpose of government is for community development contrary tosome people’s perception that the presence of the military will pose danger tothem,” Sakkalahul said addressing the team members.
“Instead mag-gyera [war], misyon niyo ay howto get the sympathy of the people and cooperate with authorities,” he added.
The vice governor also thanked PresidentBenigno Aquino III that “instead of declaring all-out-war in the province, hedeclared all-out-justice; and I believe this is part of it.”
Tuesday’s event also marked the signing ofMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the military, police, and the provincialgovernment of Basilan regarding the creation of the Joint Peace and SecurityCoordinating Committee (JPSCC) that will ensure that enforcement organizationswill be well coordinated towards peace and development of the island province.
Basilan Police chief S/Supt. Alex Linesesdeclared that “in PNP, it is our inherent mandate to create an environmentconducive for our people to live and do business in a sustaining peace andorder, anchored on national security policies and strategy.”
He said the “matuwid na daan of PresidentAquino administration is geared towards capability in responding to insurgencyproblems of multi-stakeholders and in maintaining stability of the State.”
Lineses hopes that the dream of a paradise inBasilan will not remain a wish-list. He looks forward to the day when he andCol. Visaya would get old and come back to Basilan as tourists as many othertourists would flock to Basilan.
The Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” promulgates the cooperation and unity of thecitizenry to bring progress and development to the community towards achieving the ultimate goal of“Winning the Peace”. It takes a paradigm shiftfrom the traditional military method of addressing peace and security issuesand places heavy emphasis instead on civil military operations.
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