By Eldie S. Aguirre
Digos City Bureau Chief
MALITA, Davao Occidental — What once was a battleground between the military and the communist guerrillas will now become a resettlement site for indigenes and rebel returnees.
Governor Claude Bautista led the ground breaking rites in Sitio Agik-ik, Barangay Danwata here of the resettlement and housing project site for at least 62 families comprising of New People’s Army surrenderees and homeless members of tribal communities.
The area is situated near the boundaries of Davao Occidental and Sarangani province and is considered as the highest point in terms of altitude among the mountain ranges within the two provinces.
This is a major component of peace and development efforts of the local government to prove that even in the most remote and far flung places in the province is not a deterrent to pursue its mandate to the people.
“I believe that the best way to launch counter-insurgency is for public servants to ascertain that the basic needs of the people within the community. Especially those in the conflict areas need to feel that government is always there to serve and protect their rights and welfare,” Bautista said.
The military troopers belonging to the 73rd Infantry Battalion has cleared the area from active rebel forces through intensive operations and massive information dissemination.
The governor also appreciated the efforts of the police in maintaining peace and order in the whole province.
“The convergence of efforts and resources among LGUs, AFP, PNP, national agencies and the community affected is essential in order to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development,” Bautista said.