CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, November 12 (PIA) A top commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Northern Mindanao urged government communicators to highlight the efforts of their respective offices to serve the people through their programs and projects.
Speaking at the 13th Mindanao Communicators’ Congress held in the Pryce Plaza Hotel, Major General Oscar Lactao, commander of the 4th Infantry Division said there are aplenty of accomplishments done by the Aquino Administration.
He said many information need to be relayed to the people with regards to completion of schools and road projects, increasing number of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and more hospitals operational as the budget of the Department of Health.
“These things need to be relayed to the people because government projects are not very much highlighted to them through information,” Lactao said.
He revealed that the effort now of the government forces in his area of responsibility is to reach out to the indigenous peoples by bringing in the government services to them.
Lactao said the IPs are often very far, isolated and are easily exploited by the armed groups.
He also bared that two out of three rebels nowadays are members of the indigenous communities.
“The rebels are exploiting the situation of the IPs being far and isolated, and very vulnerable from agitation and recruitment, ” Lactao said.
He said this situation prompts the military to make its internal security operation IP-centered by bringing in the government services to the indigenous communities where the soldiers provide security to working government personnel.
Lactao said the government must connect with the IPs so that they will not be enticed to bear firearms and to fight to authorities.
On the killings of three IPs in Lianga, Surigao del sur, he said that the security sector has already identified and filed cases against three perpetrators identified as Margarito Layno, Bobby and Loloy Tejero.
“Warrants of arrest were issued and these persons are being pursued by the Task Force Bangkaw headed by the police to bring them to justice. We urge them to surrender to prevent violence in the time of their arrest,” Lactao said.
He said that the perpetrators had been with the rebel movement for ten years before they turned their backs against their former comrades.
The perpetrators were implicated in the killings of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development or ALCADEV director Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, chairman of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod or MAPASU, and his cousin Bello Sinzo in Lianga, Surigao del Sur in September this year.
Lactao stressed that these suspects are not members of the military.
“They are more akin to the rebels. They simply left the rebel movement and currently fight each other,” he said.
Lactao that aside from the lumad killings in Lianga, a total of 357 IPs have been attributed to the rebels including the murder of Loreto Mayor Latasa and his son and two other datus.
He called on the progressive organizations to also give attention to the IPs killed by the rebels, especially the noncombatants and voiceless.
“You ought to give balance information,” Lactao said. (PIA 11-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)