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Issue of October 8, 2017
     
NEWS
Benguet
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Western MP checked for rebel activities
by Alpine L. Killa and Erwin S. Batnag

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Towns in the western portion of the province are monitored by the army due to the possibility of insurgent activities.

During the third quarter meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council last Oct. 4, Col. Leopoldo Imbang Jr., commanding officer of the 503rd Brigade, reported that western municipalities of Mountain Province, especially those located at the boundaries of Ilocos Sur, Benguet, Abra, and Kalinga are being closely monitored.

“We are carefully studying how we are going to address the situation in the western municipalities of Mountain Province,” Imbang said as he solicited the help of the local government units and the community.

Imbang said the Philippine Army is determined in addressing threats on peace and order in the province and in the region.

From July to September, no encounters between the New People’s Army and the government forces were reported. However, 67 NPA activities were monitored to include 47 movements, nine encampments, three mass work, three visitations, and two food transport.

Acting Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. called on the rebels to lay down their arms, return to their communities, live a normal life and be with their parents and family.

Being a partner of the national government in this endeavor, the provincial government sustained the Provincial Livelihood Program for Rebel Returnees since its inception in 2011.

The program opened its doors to NPA combatants who are willing to start a new life. With a financial aid of P5,000 per month in exchange for community service they will render in their barangays, it is hoped that they will transform themselves as a group which plays important roles in sustaining the peace and development efforts in the province.

As to the crime situation, the Mountain Province Police Provincial Office reported a 54 percent decrease in crime volume.

Provincial Director S/Supt.Tellio C. Ngis-o said their office recorded a crime volume of 201 from January to September this year compared to last year’s 435 covering the same period.

Index crime decreased by 38 percent while non-index crime dropped to 59 percent. A total of 67 index crimes were recorded from January to September, compared to 108 cases last year covering the same period. Non-index crime volume fell by 59 percent, from last year’s 327 cases to this year’s 134.

The Philippine National Police classifies murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping, and cattle rustling under index crimes.

Non-index crimes are violations of special laws such as Violence Against Women and children, illegal logging, and ordinances.


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