Philippines: DILG Wants Unified Plan vs Terror in Mindanao

Apr. 12, 2007

By Rose B. Palacio

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno called on local executives in Mindanao island to draw up a unified plan to fight terrorism in Mindanao.

Secretary Puno has asked governors and mayors in Mindanao to mobilize communities in Mindanao to help law enforcers combat the terrorist threats.

The fight against terrorism has become an urgent collective responsibility of all Filipinos, he said.

Barangay tanods and members of civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs) will be deputized as force multipliers in the anti-terrorist campaign.

Secretary Puno also asked Mindanaos local officials to find out how many CVO members would be deputized as force multipliers for their respective anti-terrorism efforts; determine resources that could be allocated in the fight against terrorism at the local levels, and coordinate with the PNP on the training of CVOs.

The deputization of CVOs is in accordance with Executive Order No 546, which on top of making the PNP a co-equal partner of the military in fighting insurgency and other security threats, also authorizes the use of barangay tanods as force multipliers in the campaign to wide out these threats, Secretary Puno said.

He said CVO members would have to pass stringent requirements and undergo basic anti-terrorism training before they can be recruited and deputized by the PNP. (PIA XI Dispatch/rbpalacio)

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