BOARD MEETING. Officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) attend an area clearing validation board meeting on the community support program-white area operation of the 5th Infantry Battalion covering Region 2 and the Cordillera Administrative Region on Friday (Dec. 6, 2019) at Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet. PNP officer in charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa and Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) Deputy for Operations, Brig. Gen. Gen. Ramon Evan Ruiz joined the meeting as part of the collaboration of the two agencies towards ending local communist armed conflict. (PNA photo courtesy of PROCOR-PIO)
CAMP DANGWA, LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are looking at aligning the skills of the PNP mobile forces in helping soldiers manage the New People’s Army (NPA) front organizations operating in urban areas.
“The problem against our communist terrorist group is a security threat of which all our government security forces dapat magtulung-tulungan (help each other). That is why if you see a while ago there is a joint effort between the PNP and AFP,” Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, PNP officer in charge, said on the sidelines of an area-clearing validation board meeting.
The confab delved on the community support program-white area operation of the 5th Infantry Battalion (5ID) covering Region 2 or Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region held at Camp Dangwa on Friday.
Gamboa led the police in the meeting while the Nolcom was led by Deputy for Administration, Brig. Gen. Ramon Evan Ruiz.
Gamboa said the PNP has the mobile forces — regional and provincial mobile forces — which are trained like the AFP and fights side by side with the military.
He, however, said that the mobile forces have to be trained on handling white areas of the AFP, at the urban areas where the legal fronts operating for the insurgents do their activities.
“Siguro mangilan-ngilan would go to Manila but the general situation is yung fight talaga versus their legal fronts. Ito yung pinag-aaralan ngayon ng PNP na pwede kaming tumulong sa white area (Maybe some go to Manila but the general situation is really the fight against legal fronts. This is what we are really looking into, where we can help in white areas),” Gamboa said.
“We will try to study and hopefully we can study and help the AFP in the fight versus CTGs (communist terrorist groups),” he added.
For his part, Brig. Gen. Ramon Evan Ruiz said the government’s goal is a wholistic approach where government agencies collaborate with each other. Also included is the participation of the private sector.
“Kaya ito ay wholistic, we need all the participation of government, of everyone. Lahat tayo ay working versus insurgency (This is wholistic. We need all the participation of government, of everyone. We are all working versus insurgency,” Ruiz said.
He said, “we are strengthening their community relations service, putting in more force on public, civil and ‘psy-ops’, propaganda operation”.
He said the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) is very active in implementing its mandate as dictated by Executive Order 70 that calls for a collaborated action between and among the government agencies.
He also said the ELCAC task forces from the national down to the barangay levels are gearing to convince the NPAs and their supporters to embrace the law and work hand in hand for the country’s development.
Ruiz mentioned the media’s role as a medium to reach out to the NPAs who want to return to the fold of the law.
“We are offering the E-CLIP where we give livelihood, school and all privileges for a new life of the surrenderers,” he said of the government’s commitment to give alternative and better lives to the NPAs and their “militia ng bayan” supporters.
Ruiz said that both forces, AFP and the PNP, are working hand in hand to help implement Executive Order 70 that calls for a whole of nation and whole of community approach to end local communist armed conflicts. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency