Friday, June 21, 2013

AFP, PNP troops to be deployed in Cotabato conflict areas

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 22): AFP, PNP troops to be deployed in Cotabato conflict areas

The Joint Task Force (JTF) coming from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Police (PNP) will be deployed on Monday in conflict areas along the tri-boundaries in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

Mayor Lani Candolada of Tulunan, North Cotabato said the task force would be composed of elements from the Army’s 1002nd Brigade and from the Regional Mobile Group in Soccsksargen region.

Candolada said that along with the task force, members of the Regional Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (RJPSCC) would also be deployed in Barko-Barko, formerly a peace zone located along the tri-boundary.

Such area, reports said, is being occupied by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels. They claimed the area as part of their defense perimeter.

The RJPSCC, the mayor explained, would be composed of representatives from the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities from the government, International Monitoring Team, AFP, PNP, and the MILF.

The committee is tasked primarily to monitor if there are violations to ceasefire agreements.

“While this is happening, government agencies would try to resolve issues like boundary conflict in three towns in North Cotabato, Maguindanao, and Sultan Kudarat, and problems with the issuance of land holdings in the area,” said Candolada in a phone interview.

The issue on political boundaries is being handled by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 12, using as basis the Law on Creation of each municipality, the mayor explained.

“As a neutral agency, kailangang ayusin ng DENR ang mapa ng bawat munisipyo sa tatlong probinsiya, based on the law of creation of each municipality. May overlapping din sa political boundary ng tatlong mga bayan based on each municipality’s interpretation of law,” she said.

Candolada said there are also issues on the issuance of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) in conflict areas in her town that need to be resolved by the Department of Agrarian Reform in Region 12.

“Kailangang ayusin ng DAR ang isyu ng double issuances ng mga lote sa erya. For example, sa isang lote, dalawa ang owners. Kaya nag-aagawan ang dalawang tao na parehong may hawak ng titulo,” she said.

The double issuances of CLOAs had since affected the relationship of the B’laan natives, Moro, and Christian settlers in the area, the mayor said.

Candolada is hopeful the presence of the RJPSCC and the JTF would help mitigate the violence in conflict areas.

She has long wanted the armed fighting to end.

"Sa Tulunan ako ipinanganak. I was also one of the children of war. Mula noong bata pa ako, naging munting pangarap ko na rin ang kapayapaan. Kaya lagi kong tinatanong sa sarili ko, ngayong magtatapos na ang term ko as mayor, makamtan ko kaya ang aking pangarap?” she asked.

Since May 27, at least 200 families have evacuated from six puroks and sitios in barangays Maybula and New Bunawan in Tulunan and more than a hundred families in nearby Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat.

The encounter last June 26 in Purok Malipayon, Barangay Maybula resulted to death of a member of a Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team and wounded two MILF members, reports said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.