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Peace and Order Councils of 3 Samar towns declare their towns as "Peaceful and Development Ready Municipalities"

Samar Peaceful and Development Ready Municipalities joint signing

March 26, 2014

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – Peace and order councils of three towns of Samar Province declare their towns as Peaceful and Development Ready Municipalities in a joint signing of declaration held at Marju Krishel Hotel, Calbayog City.

The towns of Tagapul-an, Sto. Niño and Almagro all of Samar were declared by the peace and order councils of said municipalities headed by their town mayors as peaceful and development ready.

The joint signing and declaration of said towns was made possible after the towns met the parameters stipulated under National Internal Peace and Security Plan, namely: different threat groups failed to function as organized insurgent movement; there is minimal threat to stability, peace and order and development, as well as transgression of laws; no established support system for threat groups; effort to infiltrate unaffected areas and sectoral organizations has been prevented; and the arouse, organize, mobilize (AOM) and Ideological, Political and Organizational were thwarted and prevented.

These mean that rebel activities need minimal military interventions as it can be easily addressed by the PNP troops in said municipalities.

The declaration was attended by Hon Kathleen S. Prudenciado, Mayor of Almagro, Samar; Hon. Lilia A. Coñejos, Mayor of Sto. Niño, Samar; Hon.Vicente F. Limpiado Sr., Mayor of Tagapul-an, Samar and Ms Luz D. Tacal of Samar PSWDO, representing Hon. Sharee Ann T. Tan, Governor of Samar. It was also attended by Maj Gen Jet B Velarmino AFP, the Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Col Wilson B. Leyva, the Commander of 801st Brigade, Philippine Army and Lt Col Glen C. Calambuhay, the Commanding Officer of 43rd Infantry Battalion. While Philippine National Police was represented by Chief Inspector Felipe R. Tan, Chief, Police Community Relation, Samar Provincial Police Office.

The declaration of the three towns as peaceful communities and ready for development symbolizes that a new era of peace and progress has started in Samar Province. That rebellion is a thing of the past and no longer the craze or fad of the masses. This also indicates that the 8th Infantry Division is still on the running to meet its target for the whole Samar Province to be declared as Peaceful and Development Ready comes June 2014.

In her message, Hon Lilia A. Conejos, Mayor of Almagro, Samar said: "There were so many violence in my town in the past, people got killed because they do not give in to the extortion demands of the NPA rebels. I thank the military for helping us to move on and cleansed our town of NPA rebels and help us realized our dream of a having a peaceful community to live on."

Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: The Joint Declaration of the municipalities of Almagro, Sto. Niño and Tagpul-an of Samar Province as 'Peaceful and Development Ready Municipalities' shows that the spirit of Bayanihan is strong among the Army, the Local Government Units and other stakeholders in these municipalities."

"We are very happy to be part of this endeavor and we can proudly say that we are moving towards the right direction. Together, we are sending a strong message that these municipalities believe that it is through peace and development efforts, and not armed struggle, that we can achieve a sustainable development and a just and lasting peace in this part of Samar Province," he added.