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Are we winning enemy's hearts and minds?


Insurgency is a “Battle of Hearts and Minds” involving ideology and whoever presents a better ideology wins the war.

Civil Military Operations (CMO) and Police Community Relations (PCR) should play a lead role in a command stewardship of the AFP and PNP, respectively to win the minds and hearts of the enemy in internal conflict.

The following are CMO quotations: “Against the power of guns and other artillery weapons, CMO proves to be the most devastating armament in the war against insurgency, secessionist movement and criminality because it conquers the minds and hearts of the enemy.”  It also enlightens the mass base of our people who are at center stage of the triangular positions of the country's threats to its security.”

Up to the present, the war is among Filipino brothers and more than a hundred thousand lives have been lost in senseless battles for almost four decades starting from the MNLF in 1972 and communist insurgency and the MILF up to today.

The conduct of peace dialogue and counter propaganda among our misguided fellow Filipinos in the rural areas must be pursued with consistency to bridge the communication gap among our people.

This can be done by the AFP, PNP and local government units (LGUs) in their respective jurisdiction and area of operation in coordination with other agencies to bring the government closer to the people.

CMO was proven effective in the 1980's and 1990's when the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) was a part of the AFP by implementing a pro-people approach guided by AFP LOI Katatagan, LOI Mamamayan, LOI Lambat Vitag I & II and OPLAN SANDUGO.

But at present, are we winning the hearts and minds of the enemy? The answer is NO because our CMO, PCR and LGUs are not effectively working.

(The author is a former Prov'l Comdr of Basilan from 1983 to 1986, Zamboanga del Sur from 1986 to 1988, former Iloilo City Metrodiscom Comdr from 1990 to 1991, former Prov'l Comdr or Prov'l Police Director of South Cotabato from 1992 to 1993 and First Zamboanga City Police Director from 1994 to 1995. The author member of AFP-CGSC Class 33 was also an instructor on CMO subject at AFP Command and General Staff College of AFP-CGSC Class 34 in 1990 at Fort Bonifacio).

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