THE Pampanga Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) held its first meeting for 2010 at the Benigno Aquino Memorial Hall, Capitol Compound in the City of San Fernando.

With Governor Eddie Panlilio presiding as chair, the meeting conducted an assessment of the accomplishment reports of the council’s member-agencies and a discussion of their respective Integrated Area Community Public Safety Plans (IACPSP) for the year 2010.

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The governor paid tribute to the men in uniform from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other colleagues from the government agencies because of their “high quality of service” to the people.

“Nagbibigay pugay ako sa inyo sa patuloy na pagganap sa tungkulin para sa ikagagaling ng ating mga kababayan. Lalo na ang peace and order, dapat nating panghawakan upang maiwasan ang kaguluhan.”

Having emphasized this, the peacekeeping agency representatives reported their accomplishments for 2009, starting with the Senior Superintendent Gil Lebin Jr., provincial police director.

Among their accomplishments, Lebin mentioned the implementation of the “no plate, no travel” policy; wider police visibility through the Cambilan outposts, both regarded as deterrents against crime.

Lebin said they also pushed for the passing of an ordinance on the registration of helmets and motorcycles which are often used in the perpetration of crimes and also to prevent accidents involving the same.

Other accomplishments, Lebin further said, are the surrender of commnist gurerillas; the campaign against illegal gambling, illegal drugs, leading to the discovery of a shabu chemical storage; anti-carnapping, highway robbery, “Oplan Paglalansag” or the recovery of loose firearms; neutralization of organized crime groups such as the Francis Sonza group; anti-carnapping which led to the recovery of 34 stolen vehicles, arrest of 19 persons and 13 cases filed against them.

On the part of the Philippine Army, Colonel Jose Mabanta Jr., officer-in-charge of the 703rd Infantry Brigade, reported on his group’s accomplishments, which focused on the status of Internal Security Operations (ISO) in Pampanga.

He emphasized the “reduced enemy strength, from almost 100 in 2003 to almost nil today”. He added that “all enemies in Pampanga are no longer here but in the boundaries of Bataan and Zambales”.

Mabanta disclosed that as a result of the ISO campaign, “all barangays in Pampanga are cleaned of enemy affectation.”

It was therefore recommended that the ISO responsibility be handed over to the provincial government of Pampanga, who along with concerned government agencies should address the internal security needs of the province and its constituents.

Mabanta explained that the turnover should be done through a formal public declaration of the governor, accompanied by the signing of a resolution by the stakeholders, and followed by the operation of the Ugnayan Center.

While Panlilio responded that the provincial government welcomed the turnover concept, Mabanta said that Pampanga’s being “insurgency-free” could very well become a “very positive label” for the province. (PIO)