Yet another effort

CALBAYOG CITY- Samar local officials have vowed to support and respect the latest initiative to stop killing incidents in the province, particularly in the first district.
The declaration of the officials, led by Governor Sharee Ann Tan and Rep, Edgar Mary Sarmiento, was made during the signing of an agreement that aims to end the proliferation of the private armed groups in the district.
Also present during the October 11 occasion were Mayors Gemma Zosa of Sta. Margarita; Melissa Dela Cruz of Matuguinao; Joseph Grey of San Jorge and Ronaldo Aquino of this city.
Incidentally, these areas are considered where there are presence of private armed groups which are blamed in the spate of killings mostly involving barangay officials and supporters of local officials.
Earlier, Police Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa has directed the provincial police office to dismantle the PAGs in Samar.
Gov. Tan said that she hopes that the Oct.11 signing of a covenant calling for the dismantling of PAGs would be the last one as she noted that similar agreements have been signed previously but failed for members of the PAGs to be neutralized.
“I’m still positive with the new leaders. I hope that this will be the last time that I will sign a paper that aims to address the problem on PAGs because if not, I will never sign any document with the same purpose,” she said.
“I would like to appeal to the PNP and AFP, I will not ask for more (except) for equality and fairness because it is hard when you are asking for help and no one seems to hear you,” Tan added.
Rep. Sarmiento also shared the sentiment of the governor as he asked local officials to observe and respect the covenant.
He also appealed to the mayors to support their respective police or law enforcers instead of seeking for their ouster.
“I am pleading everyone to trust them, don’t replace them,” Sarmiento said.
For his part, Mayor Aquino, said that he too would like to see the end of violence not only in Calbayog but in the entire province perpetrated by armed groups.
“Now is the time for us to stand to end this violence, let us dismantle these PAGs and let there be justice for all those who died in this senseless act of murder,” he said.
Records from both the police and Army disclosed that 63 killing incidents have took place in the first district of Samar with members of private armed groups as responsible.
Top police and Army officials were also present during the signing of the covenant.