TACLOBAN CITY – Nine towns in Northern Samar have been identified as priority areas for the deployment of teams tasked to combat the decades-old insurgency in the province.
The provincial government announced on Tuesday that more than half of the 214 policemen and soldiers will be assigned in the towns of Victoria, San Isidro, Lavezares, Catubig, Las Navas, Bobon, Pambujan, Laoang, and San Roque to lead the retooled community support program (RCSP), a major strategy to dismantle the New People’s Army (NPA).
Deployed personnel are from the Northern Samar police provincial office, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Special Action Force, and Philippine Army 803rd Infantry Brigade. They have completed the CSP operators’ training during the past few months.
“The RCSP teams will be sent to villages identified to be affected by insurgency problems with each team staying for two to three months or until such time that the areas will be declared clear of insurgency. As part of their mission, they will provide various support services to the community to make the residents of these far-flung barangays aware of the different government interventions which they can avail of,” the provincial government said in a statement.
Mayor Galahad Vicencio of Catubig town, the Northern Samar mayors’ league president, and association of barangay chairmen president Liza Esidera accepted the RCSP teams on behalf of all the local governments covered by the program.
“Let us continue to support our shared goal to end this decades-long thievery, terrorism, and economic sabotage being done by the CTG (communist terrorist group). And pay no heed to the voices of their front organizations because our people deserve to live in a safer Philippines,” Mayor Vicencio stated in his acceptance message.
During the send-off ceremony on Monday, the local chief executives from the participating towns also signed a memorandum of agreement with Northern Samar police provincial director Col. Arnel Apud to show their support to the program and “to continue working collectively to build a peaceful and developed community for the benefit of the populace and their future generations”.
“The provincial government assures our partners that we will continue our support to the RCSP. Let us hope that we will eventually build the safest and most peaceful Northern Samar for all of us to work and live in,” Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan said in a statement.
The RCSP teams seek to identify issues and concerns in remote communities threatened by the communist terrorist group NPA.
These issues will be raised to the concerned government agencies and local government units for them to address them accordingly.
The task of the teams is to facilitate solutions for those identified problems through the convergence of efforts of different government agencies supervised by the local task force on ending local communist armed conflict.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)