“Is the Philippine National Police (PNP) prepared to take on a bigger role in counter-insurgency?” This is a big question for our law enforcers. Crimes do not only proliferate in urban areas, but also in the far flung communities.
I have been hearing a lot about problems in rural areas where poverty is a major concern. Lack of education and poverty become a weakness and radical groups take advantage on these issues.
Anti-government groups bring up poverty issues in the rural areas to spread their propaganda in turning indigents against the government, and in turn encourage them to join their cause toward armed revolution.
Radical groups’ recruitment makes it hard for our PNP to enforce the law as people’s mindset were already conditioned not to heed the government’s call.
For every problem, there is a solution
In a strategic partnership with Civil Relations Service (CRS) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP Civil-Military Operations School and Media and Civil Affairs Group CRS AFP, and 1st Civil Relations Group CRS AFP, the PNP’s Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB 1) conducted a Community Engagement and Information Support Affairs training at the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO 1) at Camp Oscar Florendo in San Fernando, La Union.
The seminar aims to enhance the capabilities and strategies of police officers in the region who are tasked to deal with local community issues through information and communication channels.
The seminar also aims to strengthen the analytical skills of police officers in providing the best counter measures that will benefit both the communities and the police force.
The officers and staff of AFP Civil-Military Operations (CMO) School, Media and Civil Affairs Group (MCAG), and AFP Civil Relations Group are among the speakers and facilitators.
Through the initiative of PSUPT Eric E. Noble, Chief Regional Comptroller Division PRO1, 50 police officers from Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (BRSP1) participated in a capacity building seminar to harness PNP-AFP collaboration against radicalism. Noble encouraged the participants to enforce strict discipline and commitment to finally resolve communist insurgency in the country.
Major Jo-ar A. Herera, Commandant of AFP CMO School, talked about the relationship of Public Affairs, Civil Affairs, and Information support.
Major Michael T. Aquino, Group Commander of MCAG, expounded on Stakeholder Engagement through Harnessing Community Support.
Colonel Jaevy D.S. Resurreccion, Commander of AFP 1st Civil Relations Group, focused on Information Support dynamic objectives as interagency coordination between the AFP and PNP. He also highlighted the role and objective of Information Support as peace asset and crisis resolver.
Major Emmauel Diasen Jr., Deputy Commander of AFP 1st Civil Relations Group, emphasized on the importance of Social Investigation in determining the root cause of the issues being faced by the community.
Mr. Marlon Magtira, Chief Information Officer of MCAG and DWDD Katropa Radio, talked about the utilization of Social Media and its capabilities in Information Support Operations and how it can effectively be used in engaging the PNP’s stakeholders.
Not for us but for our children
Indeed, countering terrorism is not just an AFP’s concern but also for the PNP. After hearing what the police officers said in the seminar, it made me think and ask, “Do the AFP and PNP have sole responsibility in countering terrorism?”
Perhaps, as a civilian, I may not be officially tasked to counter radicalism. However, I can say that one of my concerns is to stop the growth of the radical groups. Thinking about the future of my children, I don’t want them to live under terror and danger. I want them to have a better and peaceful life without any threats, danger, or fear.
I guess if the AFP and PNP have their role to counter insurgencies and terrorism, civilians also have their roles to stop the spreading of terrorism, not only for themselves, but also for their children.