By Teng Lauban Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Cotabato City — Members of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) held a meeting recently to discuss the status of peace, order, and security in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
Armm Vice-Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman, who presided over the meeting, said the key in achieving public safety is to have a discourse about it. “And this is the essence of the RPOC, nagkakaroon ng coordination ang mga civilian and military authorities in working together to address security threats,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atty. Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, regional secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said his office has been giving directives, thru policy issuance, to local government units in the region to strengthen peace and order council at their levels.
“And they are very cooperative, examples are Basilan and Maguindanao. Napakaganda ng collaboration ng local government, as well as the military and the PNP,” he said, noting close cooperation among these institutions have resulted in the reduced number of crimes and armed groups in their respective provinces.
In solving issues like terrorism, Abdullah said the military and the police cannot do it alone; so, there must be a convergence not only of all groups in the security sector, but also the LGUs and the communities themselves.
“Kasi if the LGU can convince the community to participate in solving these crimes, madali lang actually ma-resolve because the province of Basilan has shown it. Na-resolve yung mga problema nila through people’s participation,” he said, “If you look at Basilan, yung mga Abu Sayyaf Group almost wiped out na.”
Also discussed during the meeting was the kidnapping incident in Patikul, Sulu involving teachers. “We cannot allow this to happen. One of the basic services of the government is teaching, educating our youth,” said Vice-Governor Lucman.
“Ang ating Department of Education, through Sec. Rasol Mitmug Jr., napagkasunduan na mag-sumite sila ng ng mga areas where there are threats of security to our teachers, at ang ating AFP and PNP ay mag-a-augment ng pwersa para ma-ensure yung kanilang seguridad,” he said.
“We are calling on the provincial government of Sulu, tumulong naman sila para hindi masyado mahirapan ang ating mga security sectors,” he added, noting the LGUs in Sulu seem to be not making advances in resolving the issue.
During the meeting, the Armed Forces of the Philippines presented updates on the security challenges in Armm, the Philippine National Police presented security plans for the upcoming Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite and the 2019 midterm elections, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Armm presented the status of the campaign against illegal drugs in the region. (with reports from bpi armm)