Saturday, August 27, 2016

WELCOME REMARKS OF COMMANDER, EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND DURING THE 10TH EMC FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY AUGUST 26, 2016

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - WELCOME TO THE EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND’S 10TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY PROGRAM. YOUR PRESENCE TODAY AS THE COMMAND CELEBRATES ITS FIRST DECADE OF SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF EASTERN MINDANAO TRULY WARMS THE HEART OF EVERY SOLDIER, SAILOR, AIRMAN AND MARINE PRESENT HERE TODAY, AND HONORS THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN IN THE YEARS BEFORE. HAVING REACHED THIS HIGH POINT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COMMAND, MARKS NOT ONLY A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE IN ITS EXISTENCE, BUT ALSO HIGHLIGHTS THE STRONG AND LASTING PARTNERSHIP THAT IT HAS BEEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH WITH ITS STAKEHOLDERS OVER THE YEARS. A PARTNERSHIP THAT HAS RESULTED NOT ONLY IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY IN THE AREA, BUT ALSO IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS OF THE PEOPLE IN THE FAR FLUNG BARANGAYS.
             
FOR THE PAST YEAR ALONE, A TOTAL OF 115 BARANGAYS WERE CLEARED OF NPA INFLUENCE ALLOWING FOR THE DECLARATION OF 5 PROVINCES AND 1 CITY AS CONFLICT-MANAGEABLE AND FURTHER DEVELOPMENT READY AREAS. THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE EFFECTIVE CONVERGENCE OF THE LGUS, LGAS, NGOS, CSOS, THE SECURITY SECTOR AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS. FROM AUGUST LAST YEAR TO DATE, THE NUMBER OF NPA REGULAR MEMBERS WAS REDUCED BY 115, WHILE THE NUMBER OF NPA FIREARMS WAS REDUCED BY 177. THESE REDUCTIONS IN THE NPAS ARMED CAPABILITY HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF THE EFFECTIVE BARANGAY IMMERSIONS BY ARMY PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT TEAMS SUPPORTED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES THEMSELVES. ALSO AS A RESULT OF THESE BARANGAY IMMERSIONS, A TOTAL OF 5,199 NPA SYMPATHIZERS SURFACED TO RENOUNCE THE ARMED STRUGGLE. MANY OF THEM ARE NOW ENROLLED IN LIVELIHOOD PROGRAMS BEING IMPLEMENTED BY OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS.

BUT THE COMMAND HAS NOT ONLY BEEN INVOLVED IN INTERNAL SECURITY OPERATIONS, IT HAS ALSO BEEN ACTIVE IN TERRITORIAL DEFENSE OPERATIONS, HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND DISASTER RESPONSE, INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE SECURITY ENGAGEMENTS AND EVEN IN SUPPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS.

THROUGH THE NAVAL FORCES EASTERN MINDANAO, EMC WAS ABLE TO CONDUCT A TOTAL OF 287 VARIOUS NAVAL OPERATIONS LOGGING A TOTAL OF 3,266 HOURS STEAMING TIME ALONG THE 16,667 NAUTICAL-MILE STRETCH OF OUR MARITIME AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY. LIKEWISE, THE TOG 10 AND TOG 11 WERE ABLE TO CONDUCT A TOTAL OF 1,566 VARIOUS AIR OPERATIONS THAT INCLUDE MARITIME AIR PATROLS.

THE SECURITY OF OUR MARITIME BORDERS WAS ALSO THE FOCUS OF OUR INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE SECURITY ENGAGEMENTS. LAST JUNE OF THIS YEAR, THE COMMAND PARTICIPATED IN A COORDINATED MARITIME PATROL WITH THE INDONESIAN NAVY AS PART OF AN EXISTING BORDER CROSSING AGREEMENT.

ON DISASTER RESPONSE, THE COMMAND DEPLOYED ELEMENTS OF TOG 11 AND 10ID TO PUT OUT FIRES IN MT. APO. A TOTAL OF 90 HELICOPTER SORTIES WERE PERFORMED TO SURVEY AND DROP WATER AND ICE OVER THE AFFECTED AREAS.

SUPPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS WAS ALSO GIVEN EMPHASIS WITH THE PRESIDENT’S DIRECTIVE FOR THE AFP TO JOIN THE PNP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL-DRUGS AND CRIMINALITY. JOINT AFP-PNP OPERATIONS DURING THE PAST YEAR RESULTED IN THE NEUTRALIZATION OF 12 HIGH VALUE INDIVIDUALS THAT INCLUDE WANTED CRIMINALS AND DRUG OFFENDERS.

FOR THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, I GIVE RECOGNITION TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITS UNDER THE OPERATIONAL COMMAND AND CONTROL OF EASTMINCOM FOR RELENTLESSLY PURSUING THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF OUR MISSION. LIKEWISE, I ALSO THANK OUR PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS, MOST ESPECIALLY OUR LOCAL CHIEF EXECUTIVES, FOR SUPPORTING OUR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS IN THE BARANGAYS. 

AS WE CELEBRATE A DECADE OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO GOD, COUNTRY AND PEOPLE, I THEREFORE ENJOIN EVERY SOLDIER, SAILOR, AIRMAN AND MARINE IN EASTERN MINDANAO TO REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO OUR SWORN DUTY TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR COUNTRY AND PEOPLE. I ALSO CALL ON OUR PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS TO CONTINUE IN SUPPORTING OUR EFFORTS TO CLEAR THE REMAINING 156 NPA AFFECTED BARANGAYS BY YEAREND. MUCH HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED IN THE PAST TEN YEARS IN THE PURSUIT OF PEACE IN EASTERN MINDANAO, BUT A LOT MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SUSTAIN OUR GAINS.  

NOW THAT A CEASEFIRE WITH THE CPP-NPA-NDF IS IN EFFECT, WE EXPECT THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE ABLE TO PROCEED MUCH FASTER - PROVIDING THE MUCH NEEDED SERVICES TO EVEN THE REMOTEST BARANGAY.

FINALLY, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE FOR HIS SUPPORT TO THE EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND, FROM THE TIME THAT HE WAS MAYOR OF DAVAO CITY AND NOW THAT HE IS OUR PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. SIR, ON THE OCCASION OF OUR 10TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY, WE PLEDGE TO GIVE OUR UTMOST BEST IN SUSTAINING PEACE IN EASTERN MINDANAO. GUIDED BY OUR ANNIVERSARY THEME OF: KATAMBAYAYONG SA TINUDANAY NGA KAUSABAN, WE WILL REMAIN AS DEPENDABLE PARTNERS OF OUR PEOPLE IN PROMOTING PEACE AND PROGRESS IN OUR COUNTRY.

TO ONE AND ALL, WELCOME AGAIN TO EASTERN MINDANAO COMMAND AND MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT.


-END-

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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