PROVINCE OF BUKIDNON – The Philippine National Police had planned to deputize over a thousand Barangay Peace and Safety Officers (BPSO) or commonly known as Bantay Bayan/Civilian Volunteers on the government’s drive against insurgency.
Police Provincial Direc-tor SSupt. Archie Francisco Gamboa recently released a directive to all Chief of Police (COPs)/Officer In-Charge (OIC) in Malay-balay City, Valencia City, the municipalities of Dang-cagan, Don Carlos, Kiba-we, Kitaotao, Pangantucan, Quezon and San Fernando regarding the proposed deputization of BPSOs in accordance with Executive Order 546.
Executive Order No. 546 directs the Philippine National Police (PNP) to undertake active support to the Armed Forces of the
Philippines in internal secu-rity operations for the suppression of insurgency and other serious threats to national security.
The localities covered on the directive are:
City – Barangays Kibalabag (19 BPSOs), Can-ayan (19) and Manalog (15).
City – Barangays Conception (36), Tongan-tongan (37), Banlag (54), Laligan (30).
Dangcagan – Barangays Bugwak (20) and Kapalaran (12).
Don Carlos – Barangay Imbayao (20).
Kibawe – Barangays Kisawa (20), Kalapaton (15), Sampaguita (20), Magsaysay (20).
Kitaotao – Barangays Kiulom (20), Panganan (20), Digongan (20), White Kulaman (20), Sagundanon (20), Bershiba (26), Kipilas (15), Kahusayan (20), Sinuda (20), Pagan (15), Sinaysayan (20) and Metebagao (20).
Pangantucan – Barangays Conception (20), New Eden (20), Purtolin (20), Mendez (20), Adtuyon (20), and Gandingan (20).
Quezon – Barangays Sta, Felomina (20), Menongan (20), Magsaysay (20), Linabo (20), Lipa (20), Cawayan (20), Delapa (20), Kipaypayon (20) and Sta. Cruz (20).
San Fernando – Barangays Dao (19), Palacpacan (20), Kibongkog (19), Mabuhay (20), Cabuling (18), Durian (20), San Jose (20), Magkalungay (20) and Little
All COPs/OICs of the said localities are directed to personally consult the mayors and barangay chairmen of the mentioned barangays where the police are proposing to deputize certain number of BPSOs.
They were also instructed to verify or validate from the mayors and barangay chairmen how much is the projected support from the Local Government Units in terms of equipment (firearms and mobility) and salary/allowances to the soon deputized BPSOs.
EO 546 entitles every Local Government Unit (LGU) to financially support the PNP in its operations like information gathering, police community relations activities as well as the PNP logistical requirements such as firearms, ammunitions, and equipment vehicles.
All COPs/OICs of the said localities are also directed to coordinate with the LGUs for the financial support to the Barangay Intelligence Networks (BINs) that will also be established pursuant to EO 546.
Gamboa clarified in an interview that the proposal will pass a long process and would depend on budget.
“The barangays are selected because we prioritized the classified areas which we believed are infested with insurgents,” Gamboa explained.
Recently, AFP chief of staff Germogenes Esperon said that EO546 would put PNP in equal responsibility with the AFP in fighting insurgency.
He said that AFP needs PNP support in defeating terror groups by 2010 as set by PGMA.
With PNP’s support, the AFP can focus on more dangerous areas against the insurgency, Esperon added.
Many local executives have expressed support about the deputization of BPSOs but they are also concerned on the other war – the war against poverty. They said as much as they want to support the anti-insurgency war, they too have to intensify implementation of development initiatives and livelihood projects to address poverty which they cited as a prime factor driving people to join insurgency movement. (NEWSWATCH)