MANILA -- Due to its nature as a military reservation, civilians are prohibited from setting up any permanent structures or any development in Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac.
This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Tuesday when asked for the reason why there are moves to relocate civilians who have managed to encroach in the said facility.
"Crow Valley is a military reservation. It is used for bombing by aircraft, bombing by artillery and by armor. And in the first place, dapat wala sila (civilians) doon. But when the Americans left in 1991 (or in) 1992, they came in," Lorenzana said in an interview.
Lorenzana said that the presence of the latter became a concern when the Philippine Air Force took over Crow Valley in 2002.
"So when the Air Force took over it (last) 2002, andun na sila (they were already there). Some of them are claiming that they have been there for a long time," the DND chief stressed.
Crow Valley, also known as the Col. Ernesto Ravina Air Base, measures 17,814 hectares and was formerly used by the Americans as a bombing and gunnery range.
"There were no civilians there during the time of the Americans and (the civilians) only came there when the Americans left. So if we allow them to put up schools and everything they will become permanent there, (we don't want that) because we want them to be relocated somewhere else because we will make (Crow Valley) a joint training exercise (area) of the Army, Navy and Air Force. We need a large area. If they are there, the danger of being hit, of them being hit by bombs is big so we have to remove them. That’s why we are preventing them from putting up permanent structures," Lorenzana stressed.
The DND chief said there are already plans to relocate these civilians and that they are only waiting for the government to allocate the necessary funds.
"Meron na kaming (We already have an) area but we would just want to replicate the houses there so that they can transfer," he added. (PNA)