Monday, June 15, 2020

Caraga mayors: Anti-terror law to end fight vs. insurgency

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 15, 2020): Caraga mayors: Anti-terror law to end fight vs. insurgency (By Alexander Lopez)

Google map the Caraga Region.

Mayors of various local government units in the Caraga Region have expressed support for the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, saying that the measure will help the local government units (LGUs) in the fight to end the local communist armed conflict.

The Caraga Region mayors issued their statement of support on different occasions since last week until Monday (June 15).

Among those who expressed support to the law was Mayor Crisanta Mondano of Mainit town in Surigao del Norte, who acknowledged that she is leading a town "infiltrated by a group" she called terrorists--the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

“Being a leader in a terrorist-infiltrated community, the fight against terrorism is a long-standing battle which hindered the development of our locality, thus it must end,” Mondano said.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, she added, is a vital piece of legislation needed by the country and the people to finally end the activities of persons or groups that aim to topple the duly constituted authorities in the country.

“There is no better way to show allegiance to this country than to support this bill,” Mondano said.

Surigao del Norte, Mayor Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia of Sison town, said the bill is an antidote against criminality and lawlessness to the highest degree brought about by terrorists who have no regard for human life whose intent and actions are so ferocious, barbaric and evil.

“It is only through our loud and courageous declaration as a people that our government should enforce the law at all times to facilitate order, liberty, and human happiness in our land,” Paronia said.

Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte Mayor Chandru Bonite also said he was elated that the anti-terror bill was passed by both houses of Congress.

“We believe this law can effectively provide us with a wonderful opportunity for peace and development,” Bonite said.

Mayor Felicisimo Cebedo of Bacuag, also in Surigao del Norte, said he and his constituents shared the national leadership's call to implement the anti-terror bill, saying the measure is "a great help to achieve peace and order" in the locality

“Our municipality has problems with insurgency. The bill will tag the insurgents as terrorists, thus funds will no longer be handy and readily available for them for operations,” Cebedo said.

Meanwhile, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur Mayor Leonida Manpatilan said Filipinos need not fear the anti-terror bill.

“It seeks to end terrorism in the country,” Manpatilan said, adding that for decades, communism and insurgency have threatened the lives of the Filipinos people.

She said that the law will ensure political stability and provide economic gains in the country, especially in the countryside.

Aside from the mayors, youth leaders in Caraga Region also expressed support to the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Citing the youth as the main target for recruitment by the NPA, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Riena Arreza said the law will "spare and protect the youth" from the continuing influence of the rebels.

Arreza said that the anti-terror bill will "not endanger the liberty of the people", even as she asked the youth sector in her town to rally behind the measure.

Another Surigao del Sur leader, Jimmy Guinsod, the Provincial Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the area, said the passage of the bill is timely as the Philippine gears towards becoming "a country free of terrorists".

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