BALER, Aurora – The town of Dingalan, which used to be known as a hotbed of insurgency, has been declared free from rebel presence and atrocities.
Dingalan is the second local government unit in this province declared insurgency-free.
San Luis was first declared as an area with stable internal peace and security in August.
The documents supporting the declaration were signed on Monday by Mayor Shierwin Taay at the Dingalan Municipal Hall, together with Vice Mayor Edgardo Galvez and members of the Sangguniang Bayan, and handed over to Col. Joseph Norwin Pasamonte, commander of the 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade of the Philippine Army.
Taay thanked the Philippine Army, which he said are committed to its mandate of helping his townmates and the province achieve peace and prosperity.
He said development will always depend on the attainment of peace as a result of the whole-of-nation approach of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We, in the local government unit of Dingalan, strengthen our partnership with the Philippine Army in doing social services such as the Serbisyo Caravan. Our soldiers are more consistent in doing services in the Caravan,” Taay said in an interview on Tuesday.
Pasamonte recalled that the insurgency problem in Dingalan started in 1993.
“Sa ngayon ay napakalayo ng pagkakai-ba ng serbisyo ngayon at noon dahil makikita mo kung gaano gumanda ang bayan ng Dingalan na nagpapakita na hindi na sila tumatanggap ng makakaliwang grupo na tanging dahilan ng hindi pagiging mapayapa at malaya ng isang bayan (There is a big difference between the services then and now because you can see how Dingalan transformed. They no longer accept the leftist group which is the only reason why the town was not peaceful and free,” he said in another interview.
Infrastructures, providing goods and services, and cooperation of the people ended the influence of leftist groups, Pasamonte said.
“The declaration is a testament of the desire of the people of Dingalan to liberate themselves from the clutches of terrorism and instead harness their economic potentials by ensuring peace in their communities,” Pasamonte added. (PNA)