Romblon now ‘insurgency-free,’ says military
LUCENA CITY – The military has declared the island province of Romblon as free from the clutches and influence of Maoist-inspired insurgents.
Lt. Felise Vida Solano, information officer of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom), in a statement issued Friday, said Romblon now has the status of a “Stable Internal Peace and Security/Unaffected Province” (SIPS/UP).
The status means that the Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front, the New People’s Army, and the rebels’ politico-military organizations “no longer pose a threat to peace and order” in the province, according to the military.
The declaration also means that “actual and potential communist systems have collapsed and its recovery efforts in former affected areas and sectoral organizations have been prevented.”
It also stated that the maintenance of peace and order in the province would be handled primarily by the police through the military would continue to monitor the situation.
“The provincial government will now focus more on the development of the province,” the statement said.
The SIPS is the highest security status being awarded by the military. The provinces are categorized as “cleared,” “unaffected,” and “relatively peaceful.”
Aside from Romblon, Cavite province is also a recipient of the SIP/UP status.
The declaration was issued during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Stable Internal Peace and Security of Romblon held Odiongan town on February 21.
The signatories include Romblon Governor Eduardo Firmalo, Solcom Commander Major General Gilbert Gapay, and Major General Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division. which has jurisdiction over the province.
Gapay emphasized that as long as all sectors work together, “any province can achieve peace just like Romblon.”
“Peace is everyone’s responsibility and Romblon is a worthy example of this,” Gapay said./lzb
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