ZAMBOANGA CITY: Misamis Occidental is on the track to progress because of its improved peace and order situation, officials of the provincial government and military said in a joint declaration.
Gov. Herminia Ramiro of Misamis Occidental signed the declaration that the province is “conflict-manageable and development-ready” with Brig. Gen. Gerardo Barrientos Jr, commander of the 1st Infantry Division (ID), and Chief Supt. Isagani Francisco Genabe Jr., chief of the Police Regional Office 10, at the Provincial Cultural and Farmers’ Training Center in Oroquieta City.
Barangay leaders who attended the First Mindanao Congress, including Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, who was the guest speaker for the opening ceremony of the Liga ng Barangay Presidents’ Congress, witnessed the signing of the declaration.
However, Suelto said the signing of the declaration would not affect the deployment of troops in Misamis Occidental.
He noted that it would enhance the relationship between the local governments in the province and security forces amid the presence of perceived threats such as New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
“The issuance of the joint declaration is a manifestation that the level of insurgency in the province has dwindled in the past years due to the continuous decrease of [the NPA’s]manpower, firearms, affected barangays and activities,” the military official said.
Barrientos, for his part, said, “It (Misamis Occidental) is now ready for further development and tourism. The strength of the NPA in Misamis Occidental has become insignificant and can be readily addressed by the police. However, the 1st Infantry Division and Armed Forces as a whole will continue to work with the local government units, other government agencies, the civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to maintain the peace and security in Misamis Occidental and likewise the other provinces in Western Mindanao.”
Ramiro, meanwhile, said the signing of the declaration would strengthen and enhance the collaboration and partnership of the local government, the police, and the military.