From the Visayan Daily Star (May 23): 7 Negrenses lauded for help
in ‘winning the peace’ drive
The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division yesterday honored its civilian partners in its “winning the peace” campaign in Negros and Panay, as it marked its 40th founding anniversary at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, assisted by Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, 3rd Infantry Division commander, led the distribution of plaques of merit and appreciation to seven Negrenses, who have contributed a lot in accomplishing the mission of 3ID in Negros and Panay islands.
The awardees were Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, Ma. Lina Sanogal, action officer of the Provincial Peace, Integration and Development Unit of Negros Occidental, DILG Negros Oriental officer Farah Gentuya, Ma. Lourdes Tizon of the Paghili-usa sa Paghidaet Negros, Marit Stinus Cabugon of the Center for Freedom, Democracy and Inclusive Development Inc., Dr. Jess Cañete of the Commission on Human Rights in Negros Oriental, and Bentham de la Cruz, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Negros Oriental chapter.
Maj. Rey Tiongson, 3ID spokesman, said yesterday that Degamo was instrumental in the recent signing of declaration of the normalization of Negros Oriental, which indicated another model of collaboration, cooperation, support and unity between the local and national officials, AFP, PNP and civil society organizations.
Sanogal, also the Provincial Planning and Development officer of Negros Occidental, was instrumental in pioneering the Pro-PIDU program under the Negros First agenda of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., that served as the template for one of the steps in winning the peace in the province, Tiongson added.
Tison, an active advocate of the local and multi-sectoral peace and development initiatives, was cited for her contributions to the Winning the Peace campaign in Negros, and for facilitating the critical incident stress debriefing to the direct and indirect survivors of the La Castellana massacre.
Cabugon, Tiongson said, served as sponsor of the 11th Infantry Battalion Lapu-Lapu Educational Assistance Program scholars at the Negros Oriental State University-Guihulngan campus, and she provided school fees and monthly stipend for LEAP scholars.
Cañete was cited for efforts to manifest the CHR dedication on human rights advocacy in Negros Oriental, while Mayor de la Cruz actively supported the various programs of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, military records show.
Tiongson said Gentuya served as a significant partner of the 302nd Brigade in facilitating the allocation of more than P8 million worth of program of works, and helped in the community-based programs of the unit, among others.
The military awardees from Negros island were Capt. Ronald Albert Dividina of the 62nd Infantry Battalion as Best Intelligence Officer, Capt. Sherwin Lagasca of the 11th IB as Best Operation Officer, 1Lt. Von Ryan Gomez (11IB) - Best Civil Military Operations Officer, 1Lt. Julambri Haber (79IB) - Best Company Commander, 2Lt. Jerome Mandocdoc (11IB) - Best Platoon Leader, Sgt. Joel Colongon (62IB) - Best Enlisted Personnel in Combat, Sgt. Cafgu Active Auxiliary Member Samuel Sabanal - Best CAA, 302nd Infantry Brigade - Best Infantry Brigade, and 11IB - Best Infantry Battalion, military records also showed.
Iriberri also conferred the Gold Cross Medal on 2Lt. John Tumamao, while 1Lt. Shamon Pamittan, Sgt. Marlon Losaria, and PFC Vincent Garbo received the Bronze Cross Medal.
For the nth time we say that our trust with President Benigno Aquino III is fully intact and we know how he is committed to make the resolution of the Bangsamoro Question as his best legacy to the people in this country. But sure enough, the dose of medicine contained in the BBL, as crafted by the BTC, will not please everybody’s taste. This includes people whose vocation and forte is to see only the legal side of the document or argument. In such an eventuality, the long haul ahead can be predicted.
On the side of the BTC, it has never doubted that this engagement with the OP is forthcoming, because there is no other way to handle it. With heart and soul, the BTC commissioners have poured it all in crafting this historic document. All of the 15 commissioners, except one, signed the BBL.
For the MILF, there will be no open engagement vis-à-vis BBL, except perhaps by those connected with the peace negotiation. But surely, it will monitor the movement of the document very closely. Any slip in the handling can spell a great difference. This can only be averted through strong partnership with government.
As a reminder, the proposed BBL is supposed to be the start of the work to legislate a political agreement contained in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). This is the reason that most of the provisions of the BBL were copy pasted from signed documents; others were culled from recommendations from civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), peace workers and individuals; and the rest to flesh out gray areas in the CAB but taking account its spirit. For instance, the CAB merely speaks of a ministerial form of government, but it did not spell out a mechanism whereby in times of no confidence vote of the chief minister whose authority is to call for fresh election. In all or most states of the parliamentary type, including not full states such as Sabah, Sarawak, and Penang in Malaysia, such power rests with the symbolic head of the government, which they referred to as “governor”.
With time moving so fast, it is our wish that all parties must tighten their belt to ensure the smooth-sailing of the BBL. For sure, we do not have the benefit of so much time at our disposal.