CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, July 28 — The 80th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Laguna forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on civil relations committee partnership on Friday at the police headquarters here.
Signatories to the joint partnership agreement were 80th IB PA battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Randolf Cabangbang; and Laguna Police Provincial Director, Senior Superintendent Cecilio Ison Jr.
Witnessing the signing were Supt. Meliton Salvadora, deputy provincial director for administration/operation; Intelligence Branch chief, Supt. Vicente Cabatingan; PCR chief Pastor P. Castillo; and AFP Capt. Arnel P. Palermo.
Cabangbang thanked the Laguna police for the partnership recognizing that “we can do this through joint endeavors and teamwork.”
“For the past weeks, I would also like to thank the areas that we are handling in Laguna because it had been effectively secured by the PNP giving us the way to secure the most dangerous part of the boundary even if I am handling a large part of the area of responsibility (AOR) now covering three provinces,” Cabangbang said.
He said his troops and the police have been closely coordinating and in their peace and order efforts “because the PNP joined us in every operation and this (MOA) will strengthen everything.”
The army battalion commander described that their joint civil military operations (CMOs) and the police community relations (PCRs) would be enhanced given their respective responsibilities and mandates.
“We have been doing this joint activity all along but we are short of community engagement. In my 20 years in Mindanao, the people in Mindanao are feeling safe if they see AFP and PNP working together,” Cabangbang disclosed.
He shared that a bishop from Mindanao has recently told him that “they feel secured when they see PNP and AFP working together” and thanked the Laguna police that they are doing this all along.
For his part, Ison also thanked Cabangbang “who did not leave us in our area here in Laguna now that there are sightings where you can find the enemy.”
Ison said the partnership agreement has boosted collaborative efforts “to let the community see that both the AFP and PNP have community relations or civil relations efforts and a government they can trust.”
Ison said the former insurgency initiated by the CPP-NPA is no longer the idealist rebel cause “because now we call them Organized Crime Group (OCG) due to their criminality by destroying the equipment of government projects that benefit the public and the community.”
“They (CPP-NPA) attempt to strengthen their extortion activity or what we call robbery – a robbery-extortion by obtaining something through force which comes as their criminal act now but it’s not the ideology issue,” Ison said. (Sol Luzano/PNA)