Tuesday, June 10, 2014
New NOLCOM Commander seeks continued collaboration with various stakeholders in pursuit of just, lasting peace
CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City-Newly-installed Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) head Major General Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr. called on various stakeholders- from national and local government to civil society organizations and the private sector to continue supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in pursuit of a just and lasting peace in Regions 1,2, 3, and Cordillera.
“Anchored on the whole of nation approach, we shall continue to collaborate with our stakeholders in the delivery of basic social services and other developmental programs and projects to the far-flung communities in order to improve the well-being of our kababayans thereby denying the remnants of the New People’s Army (NPA) of issues to exploit on,” Trinidad said during Monday’s turn of command rites.
“Through our partners, we will collectively build social pressure on what remains of the NPA in this area and the other armed groups for them to shun the culture of arms and violence and to instead embrace a culture of peace and development,” Trinidad added.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1982, Trinidad previously served as Commander of the Army 1st Infantry Division.
He was the overall ground commander during the 2013 defense of Zamboanga City against rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front.
Trinidad replaced Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. who was promoted as Vice Chief of Staff.
Last January, AFP declared the entire Northern Luzon as insurgency-free with Pampanga becoming the 22nd and final province to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The MOA delegated to the Philippine National Police the lead role in fighting remnants of insurgents with the support of the military that will remain primarily for stakeholder engagement programs.
This was likewise a way to accept and assert the local government's lead role in orchestrating the efforts of all stakeholders in the delivery of services designed to address the primary socio-economic issues.
Prior to this, other provinces in Regions 1,2,3 and Cordillera were declared peaceful and ready for further development from 2009 to 2013.
These are La union and Nueva Viscaya in 2009; Apayao, Aurora, Quirino, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Kalinga in 2010; Ilocos Norte and Benguet in 2011; Zambales, Abra and Bataan in 2012; and Batanes, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Cagayan, Ifugao, Bulacan and Mt. Province in 2013.
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