Peace body adopts declaration of Iloilo City as insurgency-free area

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (RJPSCC) 6 on Tuesday adopted the declaration of Iloilo City as an insurgency-free zone.

The adoption was discussed during the 3rd RJPSCC-6 meeting held at the 301st Infantry Brigade headquarters at Camp Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo.

Present during the RJPSCC-6 meetings were the three chairpersons – Major General Marion Sison, commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division;  Commodore Arnaldo Lim, commander of the Coast Guard District Western Visayas (CGDWV); and Colonel Joriz Cantoria presenting Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Police Regional Office (PRO-6), Western Visayas police chief.

They signed Resolution No. 2023-02, adopting the resolution of the Iloilo City JPSCC, which recommended the declaration of the city as an insurgency-free area.

“The adoption affirmed Iloilo City’s declaration as insurgency-free. But at the same time, the body has also approved that the Philippine Army would still support the area to maintain its status as an insurgency-free zone,” Brigadier General Michael Samson, 301st IB commander, said.

The RJPSCC-6 adoption came on the heels of the recommendation of the Iloilo City Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center declaring Iloilo City as an insurgency-free city on June 9, 2023.

The pronouncement was anchored on the fact “that there are no more recorded NPA-initiated violent incidents (NIVIs), no more non-violent urban activities monitored as perpetrated by the Communists Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), and no more existing CPP-NPA formation within the City of Iloilo since Calendar Year 2018.”

Further, “based on the report by the members of the Iloilo City JPSCC, the metropolis remains free from the threat of the CPP-NPA.”

In a meeting on June 16, 2023, the Iloilo City Peace and Order Council (ICPOC) and Iloilo City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ICADAC) subsequently issued Resolution No. 4, Series of 2023 adopting the said resolution.

Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) director, said the declaration is just but timely since there have been no insurgency-related violent incidents in the area.