Local chief executives, as well as Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representatives, in some areas in Mindanao expressed their strong support to the anti-terrorism bill, which they said would support their peace and development goals.
“As the chairman of Regional Peace and Order Council XI and the governor of Davao Oriental, I strongly support the anti-terrorism bill,” Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said in a statement.
“Only those who are indifferent and those who sympathize with the terrorists will oppose the anti-terrorism bill,” he added.
Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib issued a manifesto of support for the controversial legislation, saying this enables law enforcers “to fight the threat of terrorism while protecting human rights and civil liberties of our people.”
According to Mayor Michael Maruya of Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental, the bill will contain terrorism and protect the lives of the innocents.
“I find the passage of the bill timely since our country has been battling insurgencies for years. The enhancement of government policies on anti-terrorism will eventually address the evolving nature of terrorism that has been plaguing our country,” he said.
Mayor Peter Paul Valentin of Malalag, Davao del Sur, said the bill will establish a strong mechanism that will boost the government’s fight to quell terror.
“No time should be wasted in enacting this law; ensuring the safety and well-being of every Filipino is paramount for the economic development of this country. May this bill find its way for the approval by our President the soonest time possible,” Valentin said.
Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Covera said, “The province of Agusan del Norte strongly supports the enactment of this bill into law with the assurance that the same will also uphold the constitutional right of every Filipino as enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” he added. ” We believe that our dream of having a country of peace and development reigns will not be far from us. ”
Lianga, Surigao del Sur Mayor Novelita Sarmen also joined Datu Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the area, in calling on President Duterte to sign the anti-terror bill.
Sarmen said the terrorist acts perpetrated by the communist New People’s Army (NPA), especially on the tribal communities, have adversely affected the town’s economic growth.
“The municipality of Lianga is one of the municipalities most affected by conflict because of the atrocious acts committed by the communist NPA terrorists and their front groups or above-ground organizations, which act as their support system,” Sarmen and Bucales said in a joint statement early this week.
“We urge our neighboring towns and cities and their respective constituents and tribal communities in Caraga Region and our fellow Mindanaoans to support the anti-terrorism bill, “she further said.
San Luis Municipal Mayor Phoebe Corvera of Agusan del Sur, in her statement, also said, “I believe that this will truly pave for the attainment of sustainable peace and prosperity of our nation.”
Datu Rico Maca, the municipal IPMR of San Luis, said that the indigenous tribes have been easy targets for extortion, harassment, and recruitment by the NPA. “The victims were brutally killed like an animals, the tribal leaders and elders abducted and murdered,” he said, adding that underage IP children were recruited to bolster the spent NPA force.
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