Binalbagan Mayor Appeals to Local Help Convince Rebels Back to Law

Advance Command Post, 303rd Infantry Brigade – As a municipal leader who believes that genuine peace can be achieved by helping one another, Binalbagan Mayor Emmanuel Aranda appealed to the residents of Barangay Biao to help convince NPA rebels to return to the fold of the law and join the government’s peace efforts, yesterday June 21.

Mayor Aranda revealed that there are some Biaonons who are still intoxicated by the communist ideologies and are still sympathizing the rebel group. He urged the families and relatives of these rebels to persuade them to go back in the mainstream of the society as the government is always ready to help them start anew.

Aranda made this appeal during the 3rd Convergence of “Marching for Peace, Serving the Countryside” in the said barangay.

He also invited everyone to support the said peace and humanitarian efforts and congratulated the Provincial Government, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police tandem with the multi-stakeholders for initiating such remarkable activity.

Earlier, Col Jon Aying, 303rd Brigade Commander described the said peace effort as an election where people are free to choose between the two candidates; “Peace” or “Violence”. The various civic action activities being conducted is part of their campaign for peace.

Gov. Alfredo G. Maranon Jr. always reiterates that no problem can be solved with armed struggle but with dialogue there will always be solution to our problem. He further mentioned that the Provincial Government has been helping former rebels in the past.

Maranon mentioned “Ang matuod nga kontra naton subong amo ang kapigaduhon kag indi ang pareho naton nga Negrosanon. Magbuligay kita sa pag-away sang kapigaduhon. ” (The real adversary is poverty and not our fellow Negrosanon. We must help one another to stop poverty.)

Meanwhile, residents of said barangay were grateful of the free services rendered during the 1-day-stop-shop.

The 11-day activity consisted of a hundred-kilometer foot march participated in by the military and police while the humanitarian caravan is participated in by the Provincial Government, Local Government Units (LGUs,) Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and stakeholders. Said foot march aims to show that these men in uniform are the legitimate and capable forces of the people ready to protect them anytime while the humanitarian caravan aims to bring government services at their doorsteps. (Press release from Information Opn Officer, 303rdBde, 3ID, PA)

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