THE military has attributed the success of the fight against insurgency in the Davao Region to the implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach.
ajor General Jose Eriel M. Niembra, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said it is important to address the socio-economic problems rather than only using the military as the tool to quell the insurgency.
Niembra cited the example of Davao City’s Peace 911 program, which addresses insurgency through socio-economic and security interventions.
He noted that local government units and other stakeholders should lead the campaign as the military only performs a portion of the effort.
“I think [Peace 911] that’s one of the missing ingredients in some other places of the country on why they find it hard to end insurgency sooner. How did 10ID and Davao Region achieve insurgency-free status? LGUs and stakeholders; they spearheaded the campaign with the military performing only a portion of the effort,” he said.
Niembra also highlighted the importance of empowering communities formerly exploited by the insurgents as the division has initiated projects to form people’s organizations, with the support of various government agencies and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“During the sustainment phase, our role as Army will be the catalyzers, absorbing and helping the various programs because we are done in the warfighting stage. We are now in the nation-building stage,” he added.
Niembra believes that the NTF-ELCAC must be continued and strengthened as the nation’s most powerful tool in defeating insurgency alongside good governance. He expressed his optimism that the initiatives of his unit will have a long-term positive impact on the region.
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