Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Bataan declared CL’s first insurgency-free province
By Ernie B. Esconde

Mar 13, 2018

HERMOSA, Bataan – This province, especially the town of Samal, was for years used to be known as the laboratory of the communist New People’s Army.

But on Thursday, Gov. Albert Garcia announced that the province was the fi rst province in Region 3 to be declared as insurgency-free.

“This is because of economic growth, jobs that were created, better lives that resulted despite the fact that some years ago, Bataan was like a home base or ground zero for communist insurgency,” he said.

The governor also gave credit to the military, police and other law enforcement agencies for their efforts in helping solve the insurgency problem in the province.

“No communist terrorist activities were monitored in Bataan for the period January 2018 to present,” said Lt. Col. Arnel Cabugun, commanding officer of the Army’s 48th Infantry Battalion, in his report to the Provincial Peace and Order Council chaired by Garcia.

Senior Inspector Jennifer Cruz, Samal police chief, said the town used to be well-known as “insurgency municipality.”

The agricultural town hit the news headlines when sometime in 1986, barefoot armed communist rebels marched on the street to welcome Satur Ocampo of the National Democratic Front.

“Samal is now considered as one of the insurgency-free municipalities in Bataan because of various livelihood and other programs implemented by Mayor Gene dela Fuente that resulted to more employment opportunities and better life for residents,” she said.

Cruz cited programs on agriculture and projects on capiz that is a major product in the town and cassava-making that has become an export industry.

“Peace and order situation greatly improved. With additional personnel, better equipment, police have made regular rounds of the villages,” the lady police chief said.

Cruz also gave credit to the good rapport between police, municipal officials and the community for the favorable peace and order condition in the municipality. On the police index crime solution in the province, Gov. Garcia said the number greatly lowered.

“Bataan will remain as one of the most peaceful provinces in the country,” he said.

He said that Pampanga was the second province in Region 3 to be declared as insurgency free.

Garcia said that as Central Luzon chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council, he will work for making the other provinces to be also insurgency free.

On the drug problem, Bataan seems to be making a headway.

“Wala nang droga sa Bataan. Ongoing ang follow-up sa police regional director para sa certification na drug-free na ang Bataan,” Senior Supt. Marcelo Dayag, Bataan police director, said.

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