ILOILO CITY, April 19 (PIA) - - The local government unit of Calinog, Iloilo recently reiterated its commitment to continue to support efforts of the national government to end the local communist armed conflict.
"The LGU Calinog will continue and will not stop to support initiatives of the government to end insurgency in order to achieve a peaceful Philippines," said Chester Larroder, the town's Information Officer, who represented Mayor Francisco Calvo during the ceremonial presentation of rebel returnees at Camp Ceferino Carreon in Barangay Libot, Calinog on April 17.
Six out of the 26 members of the New People's Army (NPA) militias who surrendered are from the town of Calinog. The other seven and 13 surrenderers are from neighboring towns of Lambunao and Janiuay, respectively.
The NPA militias surrendered to the 12th Infantry Battalion and Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) in Calinog, Lambuano, and Janiuay.
They also turned over 15 short firearms and same number of long firearms during the activity.
Larroder said Calvo is very thankful to concerned individuals and government agencies who work hand in hand to make these efforts possible as he understands the challenges and hardships of living in remote areas.
He said the local chief executive is also bent on implementing projects such as construction of roads to further improve the living conditions of the residents and address insurgency in the town's remote villages.
"As of now, ginatinguhaan gid ang pagpatuman ka mga proyekto sa bukid kasubong ka mga dalan para sa matalunsay nga pagbyahe pa banwa para waay dun sanda rason nga maghimo ka illegal nga buluhaton kay mahapos na magtravel ka mga produkto pa kadto sa banwa (As of now, we are trying to implement projects in the mountains like roads for smooth travel going to the town proper and they have no reason to do illegal activities because it will be easy already to transport products to the town)," said Larroder.
He added that people who joined the NPA or go against the government should be taught to walk the right path instead of being condemned as most of them are victims of wrong information and lack of education.
"Let us not condemn ang mga tawo nga mga ga-join sa NPA ("Let us not condemn people who join the NPA), against our government, because they are victims of wrong information. Some of them lack education, rather we should teach them to walk on the right path," said Larroder.
Janiuay mayor Bienvenido Margarico, Iloilo Police Provincial Director Colonel Gilbert Gorero, and 12IB Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Jason Estrada also attended the ceremonial presentation of rebel returnees and handover of surrendered firearms. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo/Photo courtesy of LGU Calinog)