Mayor on peace efforts: ‘We cannot do it alone’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:53

“Despite our best efforts, we cannot do everything alone. Our military and police forces are outnumbered by the civilians they have sworn to protect and they cannot be in various places at the same time to personally watch over each citizen.”

Mayor Celso Lobregat issued the statement during the Regional Forum of the Internal Peace and Security Plan organized by cause-oriented groups composed by the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) and the Zamboanga Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) yesterday morning at the Western Mindanao Command in Upper Calarian.

He said while government leaders and agencies work to ensure peace and security, the citizens likewise share in the responsibility.

“We all have a duty to protect our city and country against foreign invaders and maintain peace and order among our people. We are partners in advocating peace and cooperation towards progress,” Lobregat said, taking cognizance of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP-Bayanihan) launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines last year, urging the citizenry to take active participation in the national efforts to secure the country from threats, ensure peace and put lawless elements behind bars.

He said government leaders at the local and national levels together with our military and police forces are committed to peace and security.

In Zamboanga, the mayor said, the city government has partnered with both agencies to secure the people as well as invested in various programs that would increase the capability of the law enforcers in going after criminals.

“We have continued support and assistance to the police and military including the City Reformatory Center, City Fire Department, Aviation Security Command, Patrol 117 including the Philippine Air Force in the form of infrastructures, vehicles—for land and sea, firearms as well as allowances and numerous others,” Lobregat said.

He likewise emphasized that peace and security situation in Zamboanga City and other areas in the region become magnified due to wrong perception brought about by numerous factors such as inaccurate information and the attitude of playing up the negative, the bad and the ugly side of a story.

He stressed that while unfortunate incidents do happen anywhere in the country and the world, people should look at things positively by taking two, three and more steps forward. “We should bring out the good, the best, the positive and the beautiful of Zamboanga”.

Meanwhile, the chief executive has commended the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), Peace Advocates Zamboanga, Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) and the Zamboanga Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) together with WesMinCom and the Philippine National Police-IX for spearheading yesterday’s forum.

“It was very important to guide all of us on how each can contribute to the efforts to safeguard peace and security as well as clarify whatever confusions we may have on the plan,” he said of the forum.

Also present during the forum were Police Regional Director Atty. Napoleon Estilles, Wesmincom deputy commander Gen. Eugenio Clemen, Fr. Angel Calvo- lead convenor, IRSMP and PAZ president; Dr. Grace Rebollos- PAZ Vice President and Regional Convenor, IPSP; Modir Tupay of BAPESDA, Edmund Gumbahali of Pangllima Hawani Foundation, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang- Wesmincom spokesman, representatives from different agencies and sectors and numerous others. — Vic Larato