AFP, PNP in Negros Oriental ‘united’

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Thursday, February 26, 2015


COMMANDERS of the military and police in Negros Oriental assured Wednesday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the province remain united amid perceived “animosity” between the two organizations following the Mamasapano, Maguindanao debacle.

The commanders gave their assurance as the country commemorated the 29th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986 that toppled the Marcos dictatorship with a unity walk attended by AFP and PNP officials in Metro Manila Wednesday morning.

The country also observed the one monthsary of the clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 PNP Special Action Force commandoes dead on the same day.

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“The unity walk emphasized the continuing strong bond between the AFP and the PNP,” said Colonel Allan Martin, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

“In spite of the Mamasapano incident, the good relationship and coordination between the two organizations, especially in Negros Oriental, will stay strong,” Martin added.

Lieutenant Colonel Harold Anthony Pascua, commanding officer of the 79th Infantry Battalion based in Siaton, Negros Oriental, echoed Martin’s pronouncement, saying they will continue to work hand in hand with the PNP to achieve their goals according to their mandate.

“Your Philippine Army, particularly here in Negros, joins the whole nation in the celebration of the Edsa anniversary. We shall remain united, professional and focused on our mandate,” he said.

“We have established chain of command and sets of policies, rules and regulations to follow,” Pascua added.

The same is true for the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (Noppo), headed by OIC Provincial Director Mariano Natuel Jr., who said that peace and order can be achieved in the province with both organizations working together.

“We have a very, very good and harmonious relationship. Peace and order can only be achieved if we are all united,” said Natuel.

He added that “authority emanates from the people and (the) people’s voice may be the will of God.”

Natuel, speaking in behalf of the men and women of Noppo, vowed to uphold and abide by the law and strengthen their commitment to serve and protect the people.

“Let us not be an instrument to lawlessness but rather an instrument of peace,” he said.

As an example of their unity to achieving peace, the commanders pointed to the declaration of Negros Oriental as “conflict manageable and development ready,” a status that has downgraded the insurgency problem in the province to an insignificant level.

With this, some areas formerly affected by the insurgency and which have been cleared are now under PNP coverage while the Army continues to secure a few more areas still experiencing such problem. (PNA)

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