Provincial Peace and Order Council declares Davao Oriental ‘insurgency-free’
MANILA, Philippines— Davao Oriental has been declared “insurgency-free” by members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council after a series of interventions dismantled the remaining front of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
On Monday, members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council approved a resolution declaring Davao Oriental as insurgency-free and development-ready after the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 18 was dismantled.
Two insurgents still remain in the province but are insignificant, according to Brigadier General Oliver Maquiling of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“They can no longer implement the basic function of the front because they have no political and military structures to carry out their purposes of its creation,” Maquiling said in a statement, adding that all areas of the Davao Oriental are now cleared and no more “influenced area” left.
The insurgency-free declaration was also based on the result of the evaluation and validation made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Joint Area Clearing Evaluation Board and the AFP-PNP Joint Area Clearing Validation Committee and is awaiting confirmation and final approval at the national level.
Maquiling pointed its success to the convergence of government agencies in implementing various peace and development programs on top of military operations.
“We saturate the [communist terrorist group] concentration areas with convergence forces, services, and interventions,” said Maquiling.
Meanwhile, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon noted that it was “high time” for the insurgency-free declaration as they are promoting tourism.
“We have what it takes to be a premier tourist destination, and Davao Oriental is worth visiting. But we also have to consider that the tourism industry is too sensitive to peace and order,” she said. — Catherine Dabu INQUIRER.net trainee