Good governance key to ending insurgency – AFP

June 13, 2010 11:17 pm 

MANILA, June 13 — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) foresees the further decline of insurgency in the country, if not its decimation, through more effective governance by local chief executives (LCEs) who should take the lead role in the counter-insurgency campaign.

This was the assessment by Brig. Gen. Francisco N. Cruz, commander of the AFP's Civil Relations Service, in a lecture on governance before students of Master in Development Management Class 2010 of the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City on June 10.

Cruz stressed the importance of civilian participation and more extensive involvement of the local government units (LGUs) in the campaign against insurgency.

“We need to civilianize this insurgency war. An ideal campaign plan is conceived and implemented in harmony with all stakeholders, and with the LGUs leading the fight. The AFP’s main role is to secure communities and allow development to prosper,” he said.

“The government’s response to insurgency requires a comprehensive, multi-dimensional, multi-agency and multi-sectoral approach to address the root causes of insurgency, not just its symptoms,” Cruz added.

He further said that political warfare should take precedence over physical warfare or combat. Non-military methods should dominate the counter-insurgency strategy.

“Political warfare may encompass everything other than military operations. These would include Social Integration Program (SIP) under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, amnesty, rural development and poverty reduction programs, information efforts (improving image of government), peace advocacies by civil society, sustainable land reform, and the peace process,” Cruz said.

Recognizing that the insurgency problem in the country can be best addressed by good governance, Cruz encourages a more active Peace and Order Councils (POCs), where provincial government units are members themselves, in fighting the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF.

“One of the more important reasons why we ask the POCs/LGUs to be in charge in this AFP-LGU team-up is that they are more acquainted with the social concerns in their own locality, therefore can best come up with suitable solutions. In the eyes of their constituents, the local chief executives (LCEs) are the face of governance and leadership. The AFP’s role, on the other hand, is limited only to securing the communities and providing a safe environment conducive to development,” Cruz said.

He stressed that the local chief executive should be empowered to be able to lead effectively.

“The heart of the matter is to gain people’s support and encourage rebels to surrender. There is a need to govern more effectively, bring hope to the people, and for our political leaders to adjust priorities focusing on the improvement of the welfare of the people. Good governance is the silver bullet to end internal conflicts,” Cruz said. (PNA) scs/VR

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