‘Whole of nation’ approach hailed as best way to end insurgency

FELLOWSHIP. Major Gen. Lenard T. Agustin (center), commander of the Philippine Army's 7th Infantry Division, poses with members of the Nueva Ecija Press Club, Inc. (NEPCI) and other media groups for a photo during a fellowship program held at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on Wednesday (July 11, 2019). Agustin asked the newsmen to convey to the public their programs and projects. (Photo by Marilyn Espiritu-Galang)

By:  Marilyn Galang

 

FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija – A military official on Thursday said the government has found the best approach to end insurgency via Executive Order (EO) No. 70, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year that institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

While underscoring the media’s role in conveying to public the government’s policies, Maj. Gen. Lenard Agustin, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s (PA’s) 7th Infantry Division (7ID), said the EO is now paving the way for better formulation of programs by the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) hand in hand with the Regional Development Council (RDC).

The EO 70 has created a national task force to help end local communist insurgency and armed conflict in different areas of the country.

In Central Luzon, Agustin said, the local councils have met several times.

“At ang maganda dito ngayon, pag nag-meet ang RPOC, magkasabay na ngayon ang meeting ng RDC (What is good now is that the meeting of the RPOC and the RDC is jointly being held, unlike before),” he said, noting that this enabled them to zero in on issues being raised “right then and there”.

“That’s why we’re really glad about it because of our past experiences wherein when we conveyed issues, when we conveyed projects being requested by people in the far-flung barangay with the concerned government agencies, a lot of times, nothing happened,” the 7ID commander said.

Agustin, who assumed the post last January 2019 and the 7ID top brass, met with groups of reporters from Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Aurora and Tarlac in a fellowship program Wednesday night and a briefing on Thursday.

They have realized, he said, that military solution is not all it takes to end the 50 years of insurgency that it is why EO 70, which is already cascaded to regional task forces, is very much relevant.

Provincial task forces, he said, are expected to be mobilized by August this year until they reach cities and municipalities, down to the barangays.

Meanwhile, Joy Galvez-Dominado, chairperson of Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster ng Pilipinas (KBP)-Nueva Ecija Chapter, said the 7ID has been their partner in various activities, particularly their advocacy programs “Oplan BroadcasTreeing” and “Oplan Bloodletting” for at least the last seven years.

A member of the 7ID’s multi-sectoral advisory board, Dominado said she was surprised when she learned the various programs of the command.

“I wish we would always be connected with Kaugnay Division in serving the people,” she said. (PNA)

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