This is in response to the news articles written by Mr Erwin Tulfo and published in your newspaper on June 9, 16 and 20, 2013 about Undersecretary Eduardo D Del Rosario, executive director, NDRRMC and Administrator, Office of Civil Defense.
In his articles, Mr Tulfo questions the credibility of USec Del Rosario to run the NDRRMC and the Office of Civil Defense. In the interest of fairness, I would like to clarify Mr Tulfo’s allegations.
He wrote that USec Del Rosario is nowhere to be found and is always quiet and mum on disasters and calamities. The truth is, long before his appointment and assumption as Civil Defense Administrator on February 4, USec Del Rosario underwent a three-week on-the-job training and since then, he has never been absent, He even works on weekends.
It is not true that he is quiet and mum on disaster and calamity issues. Members of the Defense Press Corps and other media personalities can attest that he gives updates on current disaster issues and accommodates media interviews if needed. As matter of fact, our conferences and meetings regarding our preparations for the rainy season have been covered by the media.
Likewise, he even appointed me as OCD Spokesperson to ensure that the public is always informed on relevant issues. Recall that he headed the Task Force Kalihim that spearheaded the search and rescue operations for the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in August 2012 that earned him the trust and confidence of the President and Secretary of National Defense.
Mr Tulfo again wrote on June 16 an article which tackled about USec Del Rosario bringing with him and assigning retired military officers and “mistahs” to important positions at OCD. The truth is, Generals Fajardo, Rirao and Dalmas and Colonel Balao have been with OCD long before he was appointed. Only Generals Delos Reyes (Class ’80) and Ochotorena (Class ’82) came after him to assume as Executive Officer and OCD-Director of Basilan-Sulu-Tawitawi Region, respectively.
The appointment of highly competent and retired military officers with proven track record is part of the reforms being initiated by the office under his leadership. Mr Tulfo also mentioned USec Del Rosario bringing with him an active officer from the AFP to head the operations department. For Mr. Tulfo’s information, Major Balido has long been assigned with the office way back in 2011 and had served in the field as a combat officer for 9 years before his assignment to OCD.
We are proud that USec Del Rosario has initiated numerous reforms to ensure that OCD can perform it mandate, such as: reorganizing the structure and manning of OCD; rationalize utilization of funds down to OCD Regional Centers and transparent procurement to safeguard the use of government funds. We are grateful for these reforms. I believe Mr Tulfo is just a victim of black propaganda by people with vested interest that runs counter to the “Matuwid na Daan” of our President.
In the interest of fair and just journalism, we would like to invite Mr Tulfo to visit our office, talk to any of our officials and employees and see for himself the transformation at the Office of Civil Defense.
Finally, we fervently hope that this letter will find space in your prestigious newspaper.
REYNALDO B BALIDO JR., Major, PA
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Police in counter-insurgency operations
Some 90 police officers here in our province (Gen Santos City) have undergone training in counter-insurgency operations against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
The training is necessary because of the increased NPA attacks against military and police, civilians here in Central Mindanao. We are sure this training will help policemen to strengthen their skills to better and swiftly respond to NPA attacks. The training is called SCOUT or the Special Counter Insurgency Operations Unit Training, which was conducted at the police headquarters in Gen. Santos City that lasted for 45 days.
The men and women participants learned the rudiments of first aid, rope courses, immediate action drills, water/seaborne tactics, survival, community immersion among others.
The training will bolster peace and order in our communities. Its going to be a lot safer once these police officers are deployed in specific areas and to prevent and counter planned attacks of the NPAs.
Now, it is not only the military that can go after the NPAs in the region. This support from the police will definitely minimize killings and attacks. People in our community eagerly await the implementation of this endeavor soon. Worthwhile training such as these should be a continuing one as more people especially in NPA-prone areas reside will benefit from it.
KATE MARCIAL B. SOBELINO
Gen. Santos City