Members of the Provincial Peace & Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council conducted a joint meeting at Macapagal Training Center in Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza Provincial Government Center, Pigcarangan, Tubod on August 23, 2017.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines presented the security situation of the province. In Iligan City elements of the New People’s Army have been seen in the hinterland barangays of the city. The 4th Mechanized Battalion under the leadership of Col. Aduca immediately dispatched the troops to take care of the situation and is currently monitoring the activities of the group. On July 24, protesters conducted rally in the city of Iligan to express their opposition against the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. This was peacefully contained through the efficient coordination between the AFP and the Philippine National Police. On the same day number of protesters were hold in the checkpoints along the highway connecting Cagayan de Oro to Iligan. The activists came from the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
Since the Peace Talks failed between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front, NPA the armed wing of the NDF stepped up their tactical offensives against the AFP and the PNP in the entire country.
On the present condition to the on-going conflict in Marawi, Capt. Llyod Tondo expressed sadness to the effect of the rebellion caused by the terrorist group, lives have been deeply affected and properties were destroyed as shown in the pictures. Capt. Tondo said that the AFP could not prevent sparing some of the buildings for they are being used by the terrorists as their hide out and vantage point in engaging the troops.
Military and Police checkpoints play a vital role in filtering the surge of evacuees fleeing the conflict and its mere presence discourage lawless elements to merge with innocent civilians. The Armed Forces and the PNP relies more in their intelligence gathering from the information shared by the residents of the barangays.
Brigadier General William Alunday stressed that barangay officials and residents must always be vigilant and watchful of their surroundings and report to PNP or AFP any suspicious men roaming in their communities. This action from the barangay level could deter any possibilities of lawless group encroaching in the peaceful Province of Lanao del Norte.
Residents of Lanao del Norte could provide related information to the Armed Forces of the Philippines without fear of being identified by sympathisers or supporters of the rebel or terrorist group. Concerned citizens can call 09177042733; this is the hotline number of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade stationed at Barangay Maria Cristina, Iligan City, said Capt. Tondo.
In addition, the AFP Captain emphasized the importance deterring any spill-over of the LTGs by activating and supporting the Barangay Defence System in the respective municipalities, the continuous implementation of curfew hours and establishing of checkpoints, the unending monitoring and verification of suspected members of the local terrorist group (LTG) in the hospitals, barangays, and evacuation centers including those home based evacuees. “We should take the Bohol situation as an example on how the residents reacted in stopping the Abu Sayyaf bandit of bringing terror in their place”, the Captain added.
Police Senior Superintendent Leopoldo E. Cabanag, said that since he became the Provincial Director he have observed that Lanao del Norte is a peaceful province compared to other provinces in the country. “I alone can roam around the province in my motorcycle without any back-up or security personnel following me”.
The number of crime volume recorded in the province decreased by 24.11 percent compared between the months of January-July 2016 and January-July 2017. The relentless calling of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to end criminality and illegal drugs proved to be effective in preventing the proliferation of such illegal activities in coordination with the PNP and officials of the municipalities and the barangays.
The accomplishment of the campaign against illegal drugs in Lanao del Norte resulted to the arrest of 316 drug personalities where 168 are identified as users and 148 as pushers covering the period from March 1 to August 21, 2017.
In the campaign against wanted persons, from January 1, 2017 to August 21, 2017, the Provincial Police apprehended 13 Most Wanted Persons (MWP) and 147 personalities who are considered as Other Wanted Persons (OWP). On the same period, the Police conducted arrest of 22 persons and confiscated 32 loose firearms. The Provincial Police as well recovered 1 motor vehicle and 6 motorcycles in the campaign against carnapping or motornapping. On illegal logging, a total of 2,477 board feet, 25 log bolts and 18 pieces of flitch hardwood have been confiscated. In the effort to end illegal gambling, 32 persons have been caught in the act of doing the unlawful activity. The Police also recovered 5 female cows in their campaign against cattle rustling.
The Provincial Police will conduct drug test to their 864 PNP and Non-Uniformed Personnel. As of now, 17.82 percent have undergone the mandatory drug test and all personnel were tested negative. This is part of the internal cleansing of the organization and will act as the model of the anti-drug campaign of President Duterte.
The issues and concerns of the Provincial Police is the need to fill-up 30 personnel to all identified vulnerable stations; snail pace conduct of Barangay Clearing Operations; and the need to have bomb and drug sniffing dog to all units. Vice-Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay who presided the meeting on behalf of Provincial Governor Imelda “Angging” Quibranza-Dimaporo took note all of the issues and concerns and assures that all of these will be discussed to Governor Dimaporo, especially on the K9 dogs.
The assessment given by the Provincial Police in the success of the campaigns is due to the continued collaborative, coordinative, cooperative efforts of all stakeholders have significantly maintained the stable peace and order condition of the Province of Lanao del Norte.
The PNP highly recommended that the clustered strong fixed checkpoints shall be sustained. All identified vulnerable Police Stations with less than 30 personnel must be completely filled-up, Sustain efforts in the conduct of Barangay Drug Clearing Operation to those affected barangays in coordination with Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) / Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and request for availability of bomb and drug sniffing dog for utilization of lower units.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency represented by Regional Director Adrian Albareño and Agent Pamesa, point person of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program. Agent Pamesa discussed the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No.3 Series of 2017. The regulation sets the parameters and process in declaring the barangay a drug free or drug cleared barangay. Since 1998 up to 2012, the Department of Interior and Local Government issued various Memorandum Circular to create Provincial, City, Municipal and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council, the purpose is to allow the LGUs to have their own initiative in preventing the proliferation of illegal drugs and in their own community. In these Memorandum Circulars sanctions were included to those non-performing LGU officials in the fight against illegal drugs. In the pre-operation phase the PDEA will conduct orientation and relevant matters same with the PNP. The function of LGUs is to activate the MADAC or BADAC, preparation of plan of action, and undertake capability enhancement.
The collaboration, cooperation and coordination of the MADAC/BADAC are essential to the success of the operation in the campaign ending or eliminating illegal drugs in their area of responsibility. The PDEA and PNP relies on the information given by the anti-drug abuse council.
The local government units shall have the reformatory facilities to cater those who are willing to undergo treatment in renewing their lives. In this facility, the LGUs shall organize programs that could help these drug dependents recover before rejoining the mainstream by tapping TESDA or any alternative learning center that could help enhance their skills and this could help them in finding work when they come out.
PDEA will validate all documents presented by each barangay when applying for a drug free or drug cleared barangay. There are barangays in the province that were not involved in illegal drugs; it means that these barangay are free from any drug pushers or users. As of now 6 barangays are considered drug free or drug cleared barangay, and these are: Barangay Mago-ong of Linamon, Barangay Kawit Oriental of Kauswagan, Barangay Palao of Tubod, Barangay San Isidro, Barangay Kahayagan and Barangay Tipolo in Kapatagan.
Board Member Tawantawan Cauntongan proposed two resolutions; one for the PPOC and one for BADAC. The first states that a resolution constituting a technical working group on violent extremism and tasking such body to study and coordinate efforts to come up with recommendations for the consideration of the PPOC such strategic policy, implementation or enforcement options that the PPOC and the provincial government may adopt and undertake in terms of programs, projects and activities to counter violent extremism from taking root or spreading in Lanao del Norte, resolve further for the technical working group on violent extremism to be composed of the chairman on Peace and Order of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, representative from the Army who is knowledgeable on the matter, a representative from the PNP which is also knowledgeable and expert on the matter, the Provincial Director of the DILG, two representatives from the Ulama, and representative from the Catholic Church or Diocess or from a Christian Church organization, and two representative from the CSO involve in peace building advocacy. The second is a resolution in joining all Municipal Mayors in their respective capacities as chairperson of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council or MADAC and all Punong Barangays in their respective capacities as chairperson of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council to undertake measures and relevant undertakings in the pursuance of Barangay Drug Clearing as define and provided for under Dangerous Drug Act Board, Resolution No.3, Series of 2017 and to provide part thereof pursuance to the mandate of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act 2002 for local government units to provide substantial amount for the anti-illegal drug program. The two resolutions has been moved and adopted by the council. PIO-LDN