From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 18): Bukidnon now a Conflict Manageable, Ready for Further Devt province
A convention for peace has conferred to Bukidnon its Conflict-Manageable and Ready for Further Development (CMRFD) province.
This was announced during the conference of local government unit (LGU) of Bukidnon and 403rd Infantry Brigade (403Bde) on 07 August 2018 at the Provincial Planning and Development Office conference hall.
Reports showed that the atrocities done by rebels in this mountainous province have decreased remarkedly for almost a year now—as shown in consolidated reports from the military, PNP, LGUs, and the Provincial Peace and Order Council.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Peace and Order Committee Chair Hon. Gino Armstrong Garcia explained some of the basic conditions before a province could earn such CMRFD merit.
He said these include: 1) Fulfilment of civilian authorities’ responsibilities on peace, security, and development issues; 2) The area is conducive for business and investments to flourish; 3) Effective control of armed violence; 4) Peace and order councils effectively working, functioning, and operational; 5) LGUs and PNP are effectively addressing local criminality problems, and 6) Security situation paves the way for entry of investors and development projects.
Asked by media how the peaceful environment affects lives in the province, the conferees jointly said: “Bukidnon is now conflict-manageable and ready for further development.”
In his message, Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. said he observed that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Bukidnon has weakened as evidenced by the number of surrenders and the significant reduction of NPA-initiated atrocities.
Brigadier General Eric C. Vinoya, 403rd Infantry Brigade Commander, meanwhile, thanked all LGUs in Bukidnon especially the villages and “Purok (zones),” for doing their roles in helping the Brigade intensify its peace and reintegration campaign.
“The declaration of Bukidnon as CMRFD province is a leading milestone in our journey towards peace, progress, and prosperity.
I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr. and members of the province’s Peace and Order Council for their unwavering support to our peace and development initiatives,” General Vinoya said.
The signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which capped the event, symbolizes LGU’s recognition of the 403Bde’s efforts that led to the significant decrease of NPA-initiated terroristic activities.
Major General Ronald Villanueva, Commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, likewise, said this would pave the way for more projects, including those that are culture-sensitive programs of the government.
“The declaration of Bukidnon as CMRFD area would surely attract tourists. Further, with the deep-rooted support of Bukidnon LGU through this MOA signing, 4ID gains more confidence in doing our mandate of protecting people and the community,” Major General Ronald Villanueva said.
Witnessing the signing were Brigadier General Cristobal Zaragoza, Assistant Division Commander for Operations of 4th Infantry Division (4ID); Brigadier General Antonio Rosario Jr, Deputy Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP; and Police Senior Superintendent Benedicto Pintor, Provincial Director of Bukidnon Police Provincial Office.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan members of Bukidnon also attended the conference and witnessed the said MOA signing. (Capt. Norman M. Tagros, CMO Officer, 403rd Inf Bde, 4ID, PA/PIA Bukidnon)