PALO, Leyte – The local government unit and the Philippine Army declares Palo, Leyte as Stable Internal Peace and Security municipality on March 7, 2016.
Mayor Remedios Petilla and Colonel Francisco Mendoza Jr, Commander of Philippine Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade signed a Joint Declaration that will enhance the peace and security stability of the municipality in a ceremony held at Palo LGU building.
Having been categorized as cleared area last year, the Philippine Army 19th Infantry Battalion based in nearby town of Kananga recommended to the local government that Palo, Leyte be declared insurgency-free based on the imperatives stipulated in AFP-PNP Joint Letter Directive No. 3.
The military’s recommendation prompted the enactment of Municipal Resolution No. 2015-16 which granted authority to the local chief executive to sign in behalf of the municipality a Joint Declaration of an Insurgency-Free Municipality of Palo, Leyte.
Recounting the background of insurgency in the province of Leyte, Lt. Col. Roberto Sarmiento, Commanding Officer of the 19th IB, said that there is no recorded major incident or atrocities perpetrated by the insurgents in the municipality of Palo for some years.
Mayor Petilla, said in her welcome remarks that the declaration will enhance the development programs in the municipality of Palo, Leyte.
“Peace is important in the development and progress in the country”, Petilla added.
With this status of Palo, Leyte, Superintendent Erwin Portillo, Deputy Provincial Director for Operations who represented Senior Superintendent Franco Simborio of the Leyte Police Provincial Office narrated that the police can now focus in its law enforcement role.
On the other hand, Colonel Mendoza thanked the local government unit of Palo, for opening its doors for the military to serve its constituents better.
“This declaration manifests the cooperation of all stakeholders in Palo. We will continue to coordinate with the local government unit even with this status of the municipality,” Colonel Mendoza said.