ROAD OPENING. 4Ps Rep. Marcelino ‘Nonoy’ Libanan said that a better and concrete road network would help end the insurgency problem on Samar Island. Libanan (left), who is also the minority floor leader of the House of Representatives, led the groundbreaking of road project connecting three interior villages of Jipapad, Eastern Samar on July 1.

JIPAPAD, Eastern Samar-Aside from easy access and to help usher in development, road network is a big factor in ending Samar Island insurgency problem, particularly in Eastern Samar province.

Thus said 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan, who is also the minority floor leader of the House of Representatives.

Libanan said that among his priorities is constructing roads to inner villages of different municipalities in Eastern Samar, where he was once its congressional representative.

The party-list solon on Saturday (July 1) led in the groundbreaking of a 2.35 kms road covering three interior villages of Jipapad, namely sitio Casapa of Brgy.4, San Roque, and Cagmanaba, connecting them to Matuguinao, a town in Samar which is also fighting against members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“If you have noticed, most villages where there are conflicts are those located in far-flung areas which are not connected and we can end this problem if we can connect them (through pave road),” Libanan said.

He said that he is with the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in ending the decades-long insurgency problem of the country reason he is ‘serious’ in pushing inter-connectivity of all towns in the province, particularly its interior and hard-reach villagers which are prone to be influenced by the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Libanan said that connecting all three provinces of Samar Island, (western) Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar through arterial roads will make it easy for the government to end the insurgency problem.

Mayor Benjamin Ver of Jipapad town expressed his gratitude to Rep. Libanan who said that by themselves, they could not fight the rebels.

“It seems our national government has forgotten us. We are happy that aside from our provincial government, Rep. Libanan is helping us in constructing paved roads to our interior villages,” he said in an interview.

Ver said that of the 13 villages of the town, only six have no access roads, namely, Dorillo, Ricare, Magsaysay, Cagnaba, and Jewaran.

Jipapad, a town of more than 9,000 people, is a fifth-class town with an income of P121 million of which P1 million is sourced from its local taxes fees.

Meantime, Lt. Col. Rudyard Kepling Garcia, the commanding officer of the 52nd Infantry Battalion based in Oras, also in Eastern Samar, disclosed that they have relocated to Brgy. Magsaysay in Jipapad since June of this year.

The relocation, he said, is meant to ‘secure’ the of Jipapad which is closer to the towns of Las Navas and Catubig, both in Northern Samar, where there remains a very active insurgency problem.

According to him by relocating to Jipapad town, it would be easy for them to address the problem in Northern Samar which is just about 15 kms away using the Las Navas route.
Garcia said that they hope to end the insurgency problem ‘the soonest possible time.’

“Our area of responsibility is already generally peaceful but still we want to prevent any resurgence of insurgency,” he added.