Civil and military authorities led the anniversary of the incursion of the terrorist members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Inabanga Bohol with calls rallying everyone to sustain the victories and advance the fight to eliminate want in the province.
Celebrating victory and commemorating heroism after the repulsion and neutralization of the band of armed men who allegedly planned to disrupt local peace, tourism and an international gathering here, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto and Inabanga Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy both urged everyone for bayanihan and sustain the victories, not just against terrorism, but against criminality, threats to peace and order and beating poverty.
Peace is not the absence of war but the absence of want, Chatto shared his thoughts during the commemoration which also remembered the three valiant Boholano soldiers and police along with others who lost their live defending Bohol from the terrorists.
Last year, terrorists on board fast boats slipped through Inabanga River to Barangay Napo, got reported by the community and responding authorities engaged the enemies to a 35-day running gun battle before internal security operations stopped when the last terrorist fell to a slew of bullets.
Even then, Bohol still struggles to wrest itself from the threat of returning insurgents, after the island was declared insurgency free in 2010.
And poised to development that would bring its people towards inclusive growth to beat poverty, issues that sand bagged Bohol’s leap towards sustainable development remain a top concern for local leaders.
This year, authorities launched Security Always For Everyone (SAFE) the Boholano Bayanihan Wednesday April 12 with Department of Interior and Local Government Officer in Charge (DILG) Undersecretary Eduardo Año leading local officials in hailing the spirit of cooperation and synergy while celebrating resilience against all forms of threats.
The program, according to DILG, intends to sustain the peace in Bohol as in the country through Bayanihan: a local custom of being united as a nation to attain a common goal.
At the program launching held before a jam-packed crowd inside Inabanga Municipal Gymnasium, Usec Año, who used to be a top military official pointed out what Boholanos have started in keeping the island free from the terrorists.
“We have started, but we need to sustain it because threats did not stop when we neutralized the ASG,” he said even as he cited that Bohol has very good mechanisms to make this work.
“You have Joint Task Force Dagon, the Telephone and Radio System Integrated Emergency Rescue Systems (TaRSIER 117) and the Countryside Development Program, People’s Power Movement.” These, the military general now heading the DILG said, would be replicated all over the country even as he intends that all regional development councils should see Bohol’s initiatives.
Special Forces commander and former Bohol police commander General Noli Taliño who was here during the ASG incursion also cited the Bayanihan in Bohol, the inter-operationability of the police and the military and the resiliency of the Boholanos as key in attaining the goals of SAFE Bohol.
All officials however united in saying that the gathering was not done to remember the terror but to recall its lessons and rally everyone to do their share in solving problems of terrorism, criminality and the issues boggling sustainable growth.
To make this plan work, leaders and sector representatives publicly showed their support to a SAFE Bohol by signing a pledge of commitment, with the DILG and the Armed Forces of the Philippines officials leading the ceremonial signing of the public statement of commitment. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)