In the wake of heavy equipment burning by NPAs in N.Samar
TACLOBAN CITY- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has directed military officials here in the region on Tuesday (August 3) to provide security to all projects being undertaken against attacks from the New People’s Army (NPA) members.
Lorenzana made this directive after rebel members torched heavy equipment in Las Navas, Northern Samar last July 29.
The burning of 10 heavy equipment valued at P32 million came after the contractor, which owned the torched equipment, declined to give in to the demand of the rebel group.
“Tulungan natin ang ating mga contractors and their equipment because these are projects of the President.Pag-pinabayaan natin silang sunugin ang kanilang equipment, maabala ang ating mga contactors. Instead na ma-accomplish ang target, hindi nila magawa at yung ang gusto nila (NPAs),” the Defense Secretary said.
He said that most of these projects being targeted by the rebel group is part of the Build, Build, Build project of the Duterte administration.
Lorenzana, together with Public Works and Highways Sec. Mark Villar, attended the inauguration of two buildings of the 546th Engineer Construction Battalion located at Kuta Kankabato, San Jose District, this city which will serve as office and barracks of the said engineering battalion.
The construction of the P48 million worth structures were part of the partnership of the Department of National Defense and the Department of Public Works and Highways under the ‘Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad(TIKAS) project.’
Sec. Villar, for his part, expressed his gratitude to Sec. Lorenzana for his directive to the soldiers saying attacks staged by the NPAs contributes to the delay of projects of the national government.
“I am thankful that Sec. Lorenzana has made a commitment to provide protection of our projects. Naniniwala ako na long-term solution sa ating insurgency problem (ang mga infrastructure projects),” he said.
“Pag may kalsada na ang isang lugar, siyempre, magkaroon ng development at trabaho ng mga locals,” Villar added.
Villar admitted that peace and order sometimes poses a problem for immediate completion of government-funded projects.
“Because of the problem in the peace order, we sought help from the armed forces to hasten the completion of the projects, we have to coordinate for the completion of these projects. We should work hand in hand to continue the Build Build Build program of the administration,” he said.
(LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)