RPOC wants insurgency-free, drug-free CL

CLARK FREEPORT – The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) III chaired by Governor Albert Raymond S. Garcia of Bataan sought to push for insurgency-free and drug-free Central Luzon.

This was gleaned during the first regular meeting of the Council here after the elections last year.

In the meeting of the Council, Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda proposed the region must work hard to declare all provinces in the region insurgency-free.

This came after the presentation of the insurgency report of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army led by Major General Angelito De Leon where it was shown that most provinces in Central Luzon are already declared insurgency-free.

In the report presented by Leutenant Colonel Rodney Intal, the remnants of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People’s Army in the region is in decline as of now. Central Luzon now is being moved to be declared insurgency free if all of the province will follow suit. It was noted that Pampanga and Bataan were already declared free from leftist infiltration.

“All of the provinces in Central Luzon are peaceful and ready for further development, a step before being declared insurgency-free,” Gen. De Leon said.

He also asked that the communities in each province to cooperate during the operations of the Philippine Army to attain lasting peace.

“We must maintain situational awareness to fight infiltration. That is one of the functions of the community,” he added.

Meanwhile, aside from being free from rebels, the peace and order council also focused on diminishing the forces of the illegal drug trade in Central Luzon, wherein the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 3 headed by Police Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino presented in their report that the peace and order situation in the region is relatively peaceful and manageable and that the implementation of enhanced managing police operations especially the Project Double Barrel proves to be an effective tool in the war against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality.

“On the implementation of double barrel reloaded, a total of 1,876 households were visited which resulted in the surrender of 49 drug personalities as of March 6-15 this year. For the first quarter of 2017, a total of 114 operations were conducted that led to the arrest of 161 drug personalities and 16 of which died in the police operations. Compared to other places in the country, this is relatively low,” Aquino said.

The PNP also pushed more of the rehabilitation program, which was seconded by the members of the council, especially Governor Pineda who confessed about congested jails and costly maintenance and food allocation for detainees.

A motion was then filed to request for subsidy from Philippine Health Insurance Corporation in order to seek support for the rehabilitation program of drug suspects in the municipal level.

Governor Garcia ended the meeting with the hopes of the declaration of insurgency-free and drug-free Central Luzon be attained.

“We are hoping for Central Luzon be cleared of insurgency and illegal drugs in a couple of years and let us target to be the most dynamic region in the Philippines,” he added.