DUMAGUETE CITY -- Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo wants a localized version of the peace process even as negotiations failed between the Philippine Government and the New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (NPA-NDF).
Degamo said he is calling on all stakeholders to a meeting if only to sustain the gains in the anti-insurgency campaign achieved during his term.
He said since the declaration of Negros Oriental as a conflict manageable and development ready province, the scenario has not changed because basic services are brought to where they are needed in the hinterland barangays.
During Degamo’s incumbency, several rebels have returned to the fold of the law as a result of Bayanihan activities jointly conducted with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (PNP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), medical missions conducted five times a month and aside from the provision of water system, electricity, farm to market roads and livelihood programs.
Degamo said he understands the direction of the National Government but says he wants to preserve the peace in this part of the country.
It is for this reason that Degamo has suggested the holding of a meeting with non-government organizations, people’s organizations, civil society organizations and other stakeholders with the Philippine Army and the PNP at Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay, Negros Oriental, the home of the 79th Infantry Batallion.
The meeting would attempt to discuss the peace process to be facilitated by the Oriental Negros Children’s Advocate Network (ONCAN) headed by Marieta Jambora.
Degamo reiterated statements made during the declaration of a conflict manageable and development ready province that “we can't win this war and armed struggle with bullets; we only need to talk and present programs that will uplift the quality of lives of our people.” (PNA)