Coordination at reg’l peace council stressed

Coordination at reg’l peace council stressed

Unity is all that it would take.

The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-7) has ordered all its members, including all national and line agencies as well as Local Government Units (LGUs) to sit as one in all its undertakings, especially on matters pertaining to peace and security of the region.

RPOC-7 Chair and Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto made the go-ahead after all RPOC members concurred that the centerpiece of any development effort should be anchored on peace and security, in parallel with that of the Aquino Administration’s concrete direction in giving emphasis to inclusive growth.

“All peace and security concerns must be addressed during the growth process, cascading down to the grass root level,” Chatto deeply stressed his point, as he has always been doing during meetings with Bohol Provincial Officials.

RPOC-7’s first meeting this year was held in Dumaguete City’s Convention Center Thursday where Gov. Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental warmly welcomed all members and guests. He narrated that his family name, Degamo, means “to cook” or “to prepare for food;” which however, in this case as RPOC member, aptly means “to prepare for peace and development,” as emphasized in his administration’s “Mag-Degamo Ta Program.”

“The government can’t do it alone; it is only the catalyst to effect change.  Peace can’t be achieved by military solution alone but with cooperation from every sector,” Degamo emotionally pointed out.

Assistance to Sendong victims

Prior to the meeting, Gov. Chatto with Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Socorin, handed over to Gov. Degamo,  15 checks,  totaled to P526,000 from the province of Bohol including 14 from its municipalities, as financial assistance to Typhoon Sendong victims.

In support of the same, Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Chief PCSUPT Marcelo Garbo also handed over his office’s assistance to Sendong victims as well, a check in the amount of P409,250, a “gift from the heart” of PRO-7’s almost 8,000 personnel.

According to PCSUPT Garbo, the financial assistance is already the second batch of his office’s aid, the first being relief goods delivered to the province last December 2011.

Int’l mission commends RPOC-7, MOA and TWG approved

Deemed as very important measures in its mandate for peace and security development, RPOC-7 approved the Draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Anti-Trafficking in Persons and the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to study Port Security Measures for Region 7.

Gov. Chatto pushed for the immediate approval of both proposals underscoring the fact that the council needs immediate solutions to peace and security problems to carry out its mandate more efficiently and effectively the soonest time possible without prejudice however to later recommendations and amendments.

Atty. Andray Sawchenko of the International Justice Mission personally informed the council that his group strongly commends the works and mandates of RPOC-7 and made known that it pushes for inter-agency cooperation and collaboration of all members and line agencies.

Atty. Sawchenko also encouraged the council to effect the commitments of all agencies’ resources citing his mission’s active campaign against anti-human trafficking activities in Metro Cebu which is rapidly gaining province-wide support from Cebuanos.

All Crimes in Region on Downtrend

Reports from PRO-7, the 302nd Brigade under Col. Francisco Patrimonio, the 802nd Brigade of Col. John Bonafos and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) Regional Director (RD) Jigger Montallana, all concurred that all crimes in Region 7 which comprises the provinces of Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Leyte and Bohol are all decreasing and that criminals are losing momentum.

Region-wide police operations intensifying the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS), military operations focused on thwarting insurgents from the entire region, and the strong collaboration of all LGUs and line agencies are strong factors in making Cebu and Bohol maintain their commendable status as insurgent-free provinces.

In September 2011, Southern Leyte was proudly declared as also insurgent-free.

However, RD Montallana admitted that anti-drug cases could take a minimum of five years to see through to the end, from the time of apprehension, all the way to the conviction of perpetrators, a fact RPOC-7 Chair Gov. Chatto of Bohol finds dismal.

But with the PGBh’s institutionalization of the program for “police prosecutors” aimed at giving comprehensive training to police officers to effectively apprehend criminals and consequently file cases in court, Gov. Chatto is quite positive that the time period given by Dir. Montallana would be significantly decreased.

Chatto confident of continuous effective crime solution

Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto, a multi-awarded public servant and a recent Dangal ng Bayan awardee, had three very positive observations during RPOC-7’s meeting in Dumaguete Thursday which would make him, he said, “look forward to a more peaceful and secure Region 7.”

First, crime volume in the region is decreasing; second, crime ratio in the region is also decreasing; and third, crime solution in Region 7 is increasing.

“With all RPOC-7 members working towards the fulfillment of a region free from insurgents; and the positive, active partnership and strong camaraderie and kinship burning in the hearts of all, there is no other way for all crimes to go but down,” Chatto said with confidence and pride.”(Janet L. Villarojo/EDCom)


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