CATARMAN, Northern Samar – A top military official of this province expressed his support for local peace talks.
Colonel Mario Lacurom, commanding officer of the 803rd Infantry Brigade whose headquarters is based this town, said that he is just waiting among local officials in the province to initiate the localized peace process.
“We want to have a local peace talk here because it is the only serious and viable option to end the war in Northern Samar and the entire region,” Lacurom said.
“We always demand to end the sufferings of the people in Samar,” he added.
The 803rd IB covers the entire Northern Samar and part of Samar provinces, among the areas in the region where presence of the rebel group, the New People’s Army, remain to be relatively strong.
Lacurom stressed that soldiers are also looking for a peaceful solution to end the insurgency problem of the region which remain largely economically underdeveloped with its insurgency problem often cited as among the reasons why investors are shy in coming in here.
The Army official said that based on his initial talks with officials of the two Samar provinces, they appear to be supportive to achieve a lasting peace.
“In our dialogues with local officials in Samar and Northern Samar provinces, they all seem committed to work for the economic and political development of the two provinces. We just hope that the rebels will also support the peace initiatives for it to succeed,” Lacurom said.
Several towns in both Samar and Northern Samar provinces have earlier been declared as “peace and development ready” which means that the rebels are no longer in the position to stage an armed raid that could disrupt the peace and order of the areas placed under such category.