OPAPP, 7ID unite efforts to address insurgency in Region 3

SANTA ROSA, NUEVA ECIJA -- The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 7th Infantry Division (7ID) have begun identifying areas for collaboration to fast-track the implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach under Exectuvie Order 70 in Region III (Central Luzon).

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. on Saturday said their organizations' efforts should focus on identifying the main drivers of the communist ideology while looking at ways to strengthen social cohesion in conflict-affected communities.

“Dalawa ‘yong major factors na dapat mong ma-solve: (You have two major factors to solve:) the one that drives the ideology of the leaders, and at the same time the prevailing social condition,” he said.

Galvez is the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) designated to oversee peace and development efforts in Region 3 or Central Luzon. Created last May 6, the CORDS is also tasked to assist the President in the speedy, efficient and orderly resolution of issues that adversely affect government operations.

Among the activities that will be conducted by the 7ID are community peace assemblies, peace-building and livelihood seminars, peace rallies, youth leadership summits, and half-way orientations on the deradicalization process.

Galvez committed to fully support these peace initiatives.

“I would like to thank you and to assure you that OPAPP will be 100 percent supportive in the Armed Forces of the Philippines peace and development programs. We will work hand-in-hand with you to attain enduring peace and security in the country,” Galvez said.

In his remarks, 7th Infantry division commander Maj. Gen. Lenard Agustin affirmed his men's dedication to accomplish the tasks at hand.

“We, the soldiers are so passionate in our work. Kami po at ating mga (We and our) dedicated government agencies are really committed to go to the critical, conflict areas,” Agustin added.

He also expressed his gratitude to the peace adviser for the opportunity to discuss key peace and security concerns and work in partnership with the peace agency.

“We thank you sir for giving us this opportunity for us to raise our concerns that need to be addressed in order for us to effectively carry on our mission,” Agustin said.

The 7th Infantry Division, also known as “Kaugnay Division” is a primary infantry unit of the Philippine Army that specializes in the rapid deployment of troops to conflict-affected and disaster-prone areas across the country. (PR)

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