Col. Jon Aying, the new commander of the 303 rd Infantry Brigade, yesterday pushed for seven security programs and approaches to “win the peace” in Negros Occidental, and to create an environment conducive to development and a lasting peace.
Aying said the seven security programs and approaches are primacy of the peace process, security sector reform initiatives, focused military operations, integrated community defense and public safety, legal operations, grassroots community development and disaster risk reduction and management.
The identification of the programs was made after the 303 rd Infantry Brigade, and the Philippine National Police, in collaboration with the Provincial Planning and Development Office, local government chief executives, civil society organizations and peace advocates, and other people's organizations, formulated the Winning the Peace Framework for Negros Occidental.
Aying said this is needed to support the closure agreement with the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (Tabara-Paduano Group), strongly promote localized peace talks with the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, conduct peace building activities in support of government and non-government initiatives to convince threat groups and lawless elements to abandon the use of violence.
Since the civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over military, they should take the lead in winning the peace in Negros Occidental, Aying also said.
“We seek to sustain religiously the activities of the Church Military Police Advisory Group in order to anchor our operations and behaviors on Gospel values,” he added.
As to the conduct of military operations, Aying said they will employ the use of force with utmost respect to human rights, the International Humanitarian Law and the rule of law. Emphasizing that military operations shall be strictly focused against combatants and armed threat groups, he said he will not tolerate collateral damage and will sustain zero violation of human rights.
I shall be harsh to violators of this policy, Aying warned.
Aying also pushed for grassroots community development projects to address factors that feed insurgency through a comprehensive, transformative and community-based, as well as sustainable social development strategy in consistent with the Negros First Agenda.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon assured Aying of the 101 percent support of the provincial government in his peace and development endeavors.
Lactao, who is now the chief of the Armed Forces of the
Lactao also honored peace advocates and civil society organizations in Negros Occidental, for their contributions to the peace effort of the Philippine Army.*