ILOILO CITY, Aug. 8 (PIA) -- Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who is also the designated cabinet officer for regional development and security (CORDS) for Western Visayas, called on local chief executives to stop local communist armed conflict in the region.
In a forum held recently in Iloilo City, Cimatu echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to stop insurgency through political will, adding that the government will continue to give sincere support in the governance of their local governments to solve the problem.
“The military will be there to assist you, the government, and the government institutions will be there,” said Cimatu.
Cimatu shared his experience with regard to utilizing political will to end insurgency in order for an area to flourish.
He recalled his time in the military several years ago as lieutenant colonel, commanding a battalion of the third division, where he was based in Aklan with coverage of Capiz, and a portion of Antique and Iloilo.
“We cleared communist New People’s Army from the highways of Aklan. Thereby, opening the way for tourism in Boracay,” Cimatu said.
He attributed their success to the mayors of the towns of Malinao and Ibajay in the said province.
“If it weren’t for those two mayors, we may not have brought down insurgency in Northern Panay,” he said.
Moreover, aside from local chief executives, office heads and representatives of various national government agencies in Western Visayas were also present during the forum.
The activity forms part of the initiative under Executive Order No. 70 signed by President Duterte in December last year to end local communist armed conflict in the Philippines.
Among the government efforts mentioned by Cimatu are convergent delivery of basic services and bringing social development packages to vulnerable and conflict-affected communities.
Each region was assigned a cabinet secretary to be the CORDS, according to Cimatu. (ltp/CBA/PIA6)