NGOs to focus on ‘non-combat’ in Army’s ‘bayanihan’ plan

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Thursday, November 17, 2011


REPRESENTATIVES of non-government organizations (NGOs) are now focusing on the “non-combat” dimension of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP)-Bayanihan that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is implementing.

In a forum in Cagayan de Oro Wednesday, the NGOs said they hope to institutionalize the participation of the civil society and relevant agencies in monitoring the plan.

Jennifer Oreta, Political Sciences professor at the Ateneo de Manila, said the forum intends to create an oversight mechanism that would monitor the IPSP-Bayanihan since based on its guideline when it was launched in January, active stakeholder’s engagement should be included in its implementation.

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Oreta said there should be an equal emphasis on combat and non-combat actions, citing a document from the AFP.

“Since the combat activities are AFP’s expertise, we want to look on how they approach on non-combat,” Oreta said, adding that they also intend to look on the combat aspects since it was not clearly delineated.

The AFP implemented the IPSP through combat and non-combat approach to address peace and security and to prevent insurgency.

Oreta said it is “very fluid in shifting from combat to non-combat,” depending on the context of the situation.

“And we want to see it because the AFP might say they are implementing non-combat but will become questionable during its implementation. We have discussed it with the chief of staff who approved the whole principle,” she said.

Oreta said they are working on enhancing the whole concept, which will be launched before the year ends.

Related to this, Oreta said insurgencies happened in the past for no clear reasons.

“In insurgency, the problem does not start because of the military but due to the failure in the delivery of government services or failure of the local government unit (LGU) to effectively address the fundamental issue of governance like equity, work and lands. It is not the military that causes rebellion but the government,” she said.

She claimed that only the government can solve the problem, not the military, and that the LGU should be included in monitoring this.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 18, 2011.

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