From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 7, 2019): LGUs crucial in ending insurgency in NegOr: Centcom chief
INSURGENCY PROBLEM. Central Command Commander Lt. Gen. Noel Clement answers media queries on the insurgency problem in Negros Oriental, on the sidelines of the 450th founding anniversary of the Province of Cebu in Cebu City on Tuesday (Aug. 6, 2019). Clement said the role of the local government units (LGUs) in ending insurgency problem in Negros Oriental is crucial. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)
CEBU CITY – The role of the local government units (LGUs) in Negros Oriental is crucial in the effort to end insurgency that resulted in a recent spate of killings in the province, a ranking military officer said on Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, commander of the Central Command, said the insurgency issue can be addressed if all concerned government bodies and other sectors would join together in discussing the root causes.
“I think we have to address the problem holistically, ibig sabihin lahat ng stakeholders, lahat ng mga local government units natin (it means that all the stakeholders, all our local government units), we have to sit down at tingnan natin kung ano ba ang issues, ano ba ang problema bakit nagkaroon ng ganito (and let’s see together what are those issues, what are those problems why are we experiencing these),” Clement told reporters here on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 450th founding anniversary of the province of Cebu.Clement said the solution to the problem on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) that may come out in sitting down with the LGUs would be long-term.
“Hindi lang siya yung nahinto na yung patayan, tapos na ang problema (It’s not like that if the killings are stopped, the problems cease to exist),” Clement said.
He said it is important to get everybody involved to prevent the further escalation of violence in the province, which may require an extensive intervention of state troops.
Clement reiterated that the situation in the province is “manageable and can be contained by the available security forces” there.
Earlier, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on declaring martial rule in Negros Oriental.
He, however, said local government units are critical in addressing insurgency through the whole-of-nation approach under Executive Order 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“The killings are very confined in a specific area along the vicinity of Guihulngan City which is the center actually of the Sparrow operations of the NPAs. That’s why the killings there are being undertaken in that area,” Clement said.
“We have been working together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) from the very start. All of the operations that we are conducting in the whole island of Negros and in the areas of Central Visayas are all joint operations between the AFP and PNP,” he added.
He said the police and the military have adopted common areas of responsibility and followed certain protocols on how to address common problems on criminality, drugs, and insurgency in the province of Negros Oriental.