Lobregat: Cooperation vital to peace sustainability

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 and is filed under Lead Stories, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines/16 February 2012 by Sheila Covarrubias—Cooperation and support of all sectors is a necessity in sustaining peace and order condition in the city and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula.  This was categorically underscored by Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat, who formally assumed his post as appointed chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) for Western Mindanao following the administration of his oath of office before Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

“Peace and order is everybody’s responsibility,” the mayor said stressing “we will never be able to achieve what we set out to do if we don’t work together.”

Security is the concern of all sectors, Lobregat stressed, challenging that all other sectors, including the members of the RPOC, should contribute to the effort. “I hope you will all contribute, individually and collectively to the maintenance of peace and order and security not only in our city, region, Mindanao but in the entire country.”

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo swears in Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat as chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council in Western Mindanao prior to the maiden meeting of the Council on 16 February 2012. BENJIE BARREDO

The new RPOC-9 chief likewise thanked President Noynoy Aquino for the trust and confidence on his leadership to chair the RPOC. He also expressed gratitude to Sec. Robredo for nominating him to the position.

For his part, Sec. Robredo recommended the conduct of a joint meeting between the RPOC-9 and the RPOC in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to come up with synchronized measures on how to curb criminality and ensure peace and security in the areas of jurisdiction of the two regions.

Mayor Lobregat positively responded to the suggestion and assured that he will make the necessary arrangements with ARMM officials as soon as things will settle down in the area with the appointment of the OIC governor.

Mayor Lobregat’s oath taking came before the maiden session of the RPOC-9 which discussed the prevailing security situation in the region.

The RPOC is the body that ensures a more comprehensive and effective coordination of government efforts and the active participation of citizenry in the campaign against criminality and insurgency.

The RPOC exists in every region in the country and is composed of city and municipal mayors, governors, national office directors, private sector representatives, military and the Police Regional Director.

The meeting tackled various issues that included updates on the peace and order situation and public safety in the region, update on the anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism campaign, election of component city mayor’s representative to the RPOC-9 and the selection of private sector and other issues and concerns.

The 36-member RPOC also had a chance to dialogue with Secretary Robredo

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo jointly preside over the maiden meeting of the RPOC-9 on 16 February 2012. BENJIE BARREDO

where the members brought to the attention of the secretary about various issues and concerns affecting peace and security in various areas in the region.

Various resolutions were approved by the Council that includes a request for the DILG to augment police cars and patrol boats for the Maritime Police as well as fuel allocation for these transportation facilities.

DILG- Director Faisal Abutazil expressed optimism that Mayor Lobregat, with his dynamism and admirable leadership, will take the RPOC to a higher level even as he stressed that despite the absence of a chairman since September, the Council has never been complacent.

Also present during the maiden meeting were Police Regional Director Police Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, Dipolog City Mayor and Regional Development Council chair Evelyn Uy, Zamboanga City Mayor Cesar Iturralde, City Councilors Jaime Cabato and Abdurahman Nuño and other RPOC-9 members and guests. (Sheila Covarrubias)

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