Friday, June 9, 2017

Guv creates anti-terrorism task force

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 9): Guv creates anti-terrorism task force

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has signed an executive order creating the Negros Occidental Task Force for Peace and Security, that will be known as Task Force Buglas, amid the rising threat posed by Islamic extremism.

The task force was created to fight any threat to terrorism down to thebarangay level, Marañon said.

The governor, who signed Executive Order No. 17-16 Series of 2017 on June 8, said the task force was created because there is a need to improve communications and linkages among local government agencies, civil society, people from the communities and law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security of residents.

“Islamic extremism is emerging as a major threat to peace and security in the country, especially in Mindanao, as recently experienced in Marawi City,” he pointed out in the EO.

The need to prevent violent extremism from happening in Negros Occidental, being an island accessible to travelers from Mindanao, is a priority the governor said.

“There is a need to prepare for this threat and the proper response in times of crisis to prevent extremism from inflicting excessive damage to our communities,” he said.

The EO states that the Task Force Buglas executive committee will be chaired by Marañon, with Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson as vice chairperson and Ma. LinaSanogal as executive director.

The task groups under Task Force Buglas are for anti-criminality led by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, internal security headed by the Philippine Army, and coast watch led by the PNP Maritime Group.

It also has task groups for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response headed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, Environmental Protection-Provincial Environmental Management Officer, and Communications - PIO Office of the Governor.

The EO states that Task Force Buglas will ensure proper coordination of different agencies to protect Negros Occidental from terrorism, crime and other lawless elements, coordinate to efficiently provide humanitarian assistance during times of crisis and disasters, strengthen communication linkages with communities to immediately gather information that needs swift action, and promote community awareness on their roles on law enforcement and public safety.

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