TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Northern Luzon Command (NoLCom) Commander Major General Emmanuel Salamat discussed with Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba counter-insurgency measures in the province during his courtesy visit in the provincial capitol on Monday afternoon, October 9.
Salamat visited Mamba following the reported rebel-related incidents in the towns of Buguey and Santa Teresita.
In the meeting, the general’s party told Mamba that they are continuously monitoring towns especially those that are inaccessible and remote.
Salamat said he wanted to “open access towards engagement” to enhance collaboration with local governments, urging Mamba to streng his alliances with municipalities to promote peace, development and prosperity.
Mamba, in his part, told Salamat not to entrust local camps to mayors and police to avoid “politicizing” the army.
“Para sa akin, ang kampo will be effective kung under sa inyo. ‘Wag ninyong ibigay sa [mga] pulitiko kasi there is a tendency to abuse,” he said.
Salamat, who also served as former Philippine Marines Commander, assured that they will continue in cooperating with local government and firms to improve the situation in the province.
Meanwhile, Mamba said that he will have to wait for the President’s orders to conduct “localized” peace talks, adding that he will support whatever be the national government’s instruction in dealing with communist rebels.
He added that he already requested Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzano to send back the local troops who were sent to Marawi once the conflict is over.
Mamba said the return of the said soldiers will strengthen the local military force here.
Regarding the return of troops from Marawi, Salamat said, “Yun yung gusto natin para makatulong sila sa kaunlaran sa Northern Luzon Area… We will continue to seek [from the] higher headquarters for intervention to provide the necessary security augmentation in our geographic areas within our area of responsibility.”
Salamat also warned that Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army has alternative learning systems for young recruits to “brainwash” them into destroying the government’s reputation.
He, however, said that they are now conducting awareness programs in grassroots communities to avoid such occurrences.
Salamat flew from Kalinga prior to the courtesy visit. As newly installed NoLCom chief, he said he is assessing the condition and state of troops under his command. Northernforum.net