Military officials, politicians and representatives from nongovernment organizations in Region 7 attended the launching of “Bantay Bayanihan", a program aimed at realizing an end to armed conflict, held in Dumaguete City on Thursday, a government press release said.
The program, the first to be launched regionwide, will realize the objective of the Internal Peace and Security Plan, which is to end all armed-conflict by 2016, Col. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the Philippine Army 302nd Brigade, said.
Bantay Bayanihan is a civil-society-led effort to provide a venue for security stakeholders in the government to participate in the discussion to successfully implement the IPSP of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the press release said.
Patrimonio said military action is not enough to solve the security problem as it only addresses the armed capability of the insurgency movement. He added that a holistic approach and the involvement of stakeholders are needed to address the root causes of insurgency.
Bantay Bayanihan is a way to direct social pressure on the insurgents on the futility of armed struggle, and can be a venue for the public to suggest and discuss peaceful solutions to armed insurgency, he said.
The launching was spearheaded by non-government organizations Australian AID, Ateneo de Manila University, and The Asia Foundation, together with the Philippine Army.
It was highlighted by the signing of the manifesto of support by Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Neg. Or., 1st District); Marietta Jambora, president of the Oriental Negros Children’s Advocacy Network; Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, and Jennifer Santiago Oreta of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Present during the launching were MGen. Gerardo Layug Jr., commander of the 8th Infantry Division; Col. Isidro Purisima, OJ3 representative; Col. Raul Farnacio of CS CENTCOM; Col. Allan Martin, DBC 802 Brigade; Supt. Marcelo Garbo, director of the PNP Region 7; and local government and civil society representatives from Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, the press release added.*
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