Lobregat cites JSOTF-P for WesMinCom project PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 April 2012 14:24

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday lauded the American forces of the Joint Special Operations Task Force- Philippines for constructing the Civil Defense Center at the Western Mindanao Command Headquarters in Upper Calarian, this city.

“This is one of the many tangible benefits we can get from the US forces under the Balikatan exercises,” Lobregat said during the inauguration yesterday of the CDC which can accommodate a conference or seminar of 50 persons.

The facility is complete with three office/storage spaces, three transient rooms and a restroom. The WesMinCom intends to offer the CDC as a convergence area for peace and development stakeholders. It is also a secured facility to hold crisis committee meetings.

He said the laudable project is something for the public to see and appreciate, especially those opposed to the conduct of the joint military exercises between the US and Philippine armed forces in the country.

The CDC was unveiled amid the backdrop of a protest rally by militant groups against the Balikatan exercises. The rally was limited to the junction of San Roque and Suterville, several meters away from the WesMinCom Headquarters.

Lobregat explained that as city mayor he issued to the group headed by former Bulacan Congressman Satur Ocampo a permit to rally as such is their right to assembly and freedom of expression. However, he said security measures had to be put in place to secure the protesters themselves and maintain order on the streets.

“I am constantly monitoring the situation on the ground and so far we have no problems,” the mayor told the JSOTF-P officials headed by the chief of staff Lt. Col. Bo Gardner together with WesMinCom commander Maj. Gen. Noel Coballes. — Vic Larato