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Let’s adopt President Cory’s strategy on integral conflict


During President Corazon Aquino’s administration the communist insurgents and MNLF secessionist group have been neutralized due to pro-people and development oriented approaches.

The left and right hand efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) thru intensified Civil Military Operations (CMO) activities representing the left hand effort have proven effective in winning the hearts and minds of the people and the insurgents and rebels.

The limited police operations focused on criminal elements representing the right hand effort were undertaken on case to cases basis.

Localized peace talks and the holding of dialogues in the rural areas among the civilians and rebel members and communist insurgents thru CMO to include counter-communist propaganda were authorized by higher authorities with documentary wherein CMO activities were covered by pictorials and TV camera for the people to know.

Information caravan (InforCar) was being undertaken by local officials to bring the government closer to the people which is the basic responsibility of LGUs.

AFP Letter of Instructions (LOIs) Katatagan, Mamamayan, Lambat Bitag I & II and OPLAN SANDUGO were effectively implemented hand in hand with the National Reconciliation and Development Program (NRDP) of the government have encouraged the communist insurgents and MNLF rebels to return to the folds of the law.

Had similar approaches been applied at present the Basilan unfortunate incidents of October 18, 2011 wherein 19 soldiers were slain with 4 officers and the wounding of 11 others and the Sibugay province police operations undertaken by the AFP and the PNP that dislocated thousands of residents could have been avoided.

During the MNLF ceasefire agreement starting in 1986 MNLF identified as temporary camps have been visited by AFP and Police Commanders like Talaib, Labatan, Payao and also in Tigbanwang, Tungawan facilitated by MNLF commanders during ceasefire committee meetings.

Local ceasefire committee was organized where rebel commanders and representatives from the local military and police units met regularly in a conference table to avoid unnecessary clashes between the GRP and MNLF troops after identifying MNLF temporary camps.

(The author then Provincial Commander of Zamboanga del Sur visited MNLF camps in Talaib, Labatan in Payao, in Tigbanwang, Tungawan, Olutanga, Malangas and Labangan.)

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