On his anti-Red campaign

COMMENDATION. Interior Sec. Benjamin Abalos (left) lauded Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan (next to Abalos) for his efforts to end Northern Samar’s insurgency problem during a meeting on Monday (May 6). Also in photo are M/Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding officer of the 8th ID, and Tacloban city administrator Lila Czarina Aquitaña, representing City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council.( THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF NORTHERN SAMAR)

CATARMAN, Northern Samar-Interior Sec. Benjamin Abalos commended Governor Edwin Ongchuan for his campaign to eradicate its insurgency problem.

Abalos, who was the guest of the peace and development dialogue held here on Monday (April 6), said that the interventions being made by the province under Gov. Ongchuan could eventually end the insurgency problem.

The insurgency problem of Northern Samar is often cited as why its poverty incidence remains relatively high.

As of last year, the poverty incidence of the province stood at 23.1 percent as of the first quarter of the year.

“I would like to commend the good governor for his efforts (to address the insurgency in his province),” Abalos said during a brief media interview.

He assured Ongchuan of the continued support of the national government as he addressed the insurgency problem of his province.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang pag sustain ng mga projects dito. Ang ganda ng tulungan ng gobyerno natin at ng provincial government, tinatapatan nila,” Abalos said.

Among the interventions being made by the provincial government include hiring former rebels as farm workers.

At present, there are over 50 rehabilitated members of the New People’s Army who were hired by the provincial government as farm workers, receiving a daily wage of P350.
They work at a four-hectare lot located in Barangay Cablangan, some 10 kms away from the town proper of Mondragon.

It is also in this village where the provincial government put up a housing project intended for the former rebels.

The provincial government is also into opening of roads in interior villages as a means to address the insurgency problem.

During his meeting with Abalos, Gov.Ongchuan asked for help for roads to be opened in villages located on the shared borders of Northern Samar and the provinces of Eastern Samar and (western) Samar, two other provinces which are also stalked by the insurgency.
Major General Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, said that they are on the right target to quell the insurgency problem of the region.

“The trend is irreversible. We can end the communist terrorist movement by the end of the year,” he said.

According to Ligayo, what remains of the present armed group operating in Northern Samar, were just regular “armed bandits.”

Northern Samar has been considered to be the last bastion of the insurgency problem in Eastern Visayas.