The latest news in Eastern Visayas region

Follow samarnews on Facebook

more news...

Samar cops nab 6 wanted persons and 12 other offenders

First OTOP Hub in Region 8 sheds light to MSMEs disrupted by the pandemic

DTI grants more negosyo kits to MSMEs affected by calamities in Cebu

DAR links 14 farmer organizations in EV to institutional buyers

Bukidnon farmers receive DTI livelihood kits

Samar cops nab 4 wanted persons and 12 other offenders in a 7-day police operations

On the killing of human rights worker Zara Alvarez

Inflation rate in EV increases to 1.7% in July 2020


InterServer Web Hosting and VPS




DILG assures troops: Nation working as one for peace

Press Release
August 26, 2020

TACLOBAN CITY – On a hot morning in a hillside camp in Barangay Uguis, Mahaplag, Leyte about three kilometres from the town center, soldiers of the famed 14th “Avenger” Battalion, veterans of battles with the communist New People’s Army, smartly stood at attention to receive a visitor who brought them glad tidings on the quest for peace.

Dir. Karl Caesar R RimandoTheir guest on August 24, 2020 was Regional Director Karl Caesar R. Rimando of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the agency tasked as secretariat of the Regional Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

For years, soldiers had worked in far-flung barangays, in the process discovering issues that continued to mire residents in poverty. However the soldiers often lacked the logistics to adequately respond to these issues. This was because they lacked the institutional support coming from other national agencies to address the concerns brought up in their community immersion program.

On this day, the assembled soldiers listened as Director Rimando explained how Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in December 2018, brings the whole government and other sectors together to find solutions to festering issues through a Whole of Nation Approach.

“EO 70 does away with the old concept of viewing the insurgency as primarily a military problem, but rather offers a comprehensive solution. If in the past you lacked support to address the issues you discovered in immersion activities in communist-affected barangays, the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) now provides the needed mechanism to make government, and the community at large, responsive to problems that fuel the communist insurgency. With the full commitment of all government entities and the support of various sectors, mas nararamdaman na ng mga tao na ang gobyerno ay kanilang kakampi,” he said.

Director Rimando updated the infantry on the efforts of various clusters in implementing EO 70, from the Send-Off Ceremonies, peace initiatives, Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), and the activities of the various phases of RCSP. He informed the troops that while the army and police have been working front and center to promote peace and law enforcement, the other clusters have likewise been working to accomplish their respective mandates.

Help from national agencies and commitment by the LGUs to provide resources needed to address the identified issues cannot come sooner to AFP personnel in Leyte and nearby Samar. Although the island of Leyte has been declared largely insurgency-free as late, soldiers last year were able to overrun an NPA camp and engaged in firefights with communist rebels in remote mountain barangays of Mahaplag, which borders Sogod town in Southern Leyte.

With closer coordination among all branches of government, law enforcers have been able to throttle the NPAs to minimal activities such as extortion and harassment, further alienating the public against the communist-terrorists.

This area bordering Leyte and Southern Leyte was likewise the site of a major convergence activity last year in nearby Baybay City. The AFP together with LGUs and national agencies held a service delivery event to mark the discovery of NPA mass burial grounds in Inopacan, Leyte who were killed in the 1980s by their own comrades in purges of suspected government spies.

After his keynote speech, Director Rimando and Lieutenant Colonel Roberto B. Obaob, 14th IB commanding officer, conferred awards on deserving personnel, toured the camp, planted a tree in the DILG RD’s honor and signed the Memorandum of Agreement on the institutionalization of the Community Development and Resiliency Initiative (CDRI) of the 14th Infantry Battalion.

According to the 14th IB, the CDRI “serves as a development arm of the RCSP to facilitate the delivery of basic services, livelihood programs, skills trainings, food production and resiliency programs in order to transform vulnerable communities into self-sufficient and resilient communities”.

Director Rimando believes that despite the challenge posed by COVID-19 which temporarily diverted government activities, the RTF-70 is on track towards achieving the goal of a just and lasting peace in Eastern Visayas in 2022.