The 403RD Infantry Brigade and the provincial government unit of Bukidnon declared the province as conflict-manageable and ready for further development (CMRFD) around 4:25 p.m. on Tuesday.
1Lt. Tere Ingente, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the declaration was formally conducted through the joint signing of memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Bukidnon LGU, headed by Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr., and Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of 403rd IB.
The announcement was made after assessment by the Peace and Order Council on the reported significant reduction of the NPA attacks against civilians and properties, which include government infrastructure projects.
Also present during the MOA signing were Brig. Gen. Cristobal Zaragoza, assistant division commander for operations of 4th Infantry Division (4ID); Brig. Gen. Antonio Rosario Jr., deputy commander of Eastern Mindanao Command; and Sr. Supt. Benedicto Pintor, provincial director of Bukidnon Police Provincial Office.
Further, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members of Bukidnon graced the event to witness the signing of the MOA.
Meanwhile, Capt. Norman Tagros, the civil-rights military operations (CMO) officer of 403rd Infantry Brigade, stated the six conditions for the declaration of the CMRFD.
1. The area is conducive for business and investments to flourish;
2. Civilian authorities take responsibilities in issues on peace, security, and development;
3. Effective control of armed violence;
4. POCs effectively working, functioning, and operational
5. The LGUs and PNP area effectively addressing the local criminality problem;
6. Security situation paves the way of the entry of investors and development projects.
In his message, Governor Zubiri mentioned that the CPP-NPA in Bukidnon has weakened as evidenced by the rising number of NPA surrenderees and the significant reduction of NPA-initiated atrocities.
“Many have surrendered already from their (NPA) ranks. And for many months now, we have not heard of any NPA ambuscades,” said Zubiri.
For his part, Vinoya expressed his gratitude to the LGU of Bukidnon for its unwavering support to the peace and development initiatives of the 403rd Infantry Brigade.
“The declaration of Bukidnon as Conflict-Manageable and Ready for Further Development is a very important milestone in our journey towards peace, progress and prosperity for the province and its people,” Vinoya said.