LAOAG CITY, July 13 (PIA) - In order to raise awareness on the peace and security in the country, the Philippine Army held a peace forum with some religious leaders in this city on Wednesday, July 8.
Around 20 participants composed of pastors and ministers have attended the forum which aims to seek their support on the programs and advocacies under the Duterte administration in preserving peace and freedom from insurgency and communist armed groups.
Major Rogelio Dumbrigue Jr., Army's commanding officer, discussed during the forum the peace and development programs of the present government.
PEACE FORUM. Major Rogelio Dumbrigue Jr., commanding officer of the Philippine Army, tackles the programs and advocacies of the present administration for the country's peace and security. (PIA ILOCOS NORTE)
Dumbrigue also cited this forum as an avenue for the religious leaders to be more aware on the realities on their ongoing fight against terrorist groups and other threats for the country's security.
"Hindi lamang po namin laban ito," the commanding officer said.
He also emphasized during the forum that revolution has many aspects such as political, social, economic, cultural and familial.
"Hindi na lang kasi social 'yung pinag-uusapan natin ngayon about NPA (New People's Army), nandoon na rin ang political, economic, cultural and familial at 'yun ang problema namin ngayon kaya humihingi kami ng tulong at suporta sa inyong mga leaders," Dumbrigue mentioned.
Further, he encourages the religious sector to support the government's programs and the Anti-Terrorism Law which has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The new law defines terrorism as "an act committed by anyone within or outside the Philippines, regardless of the stage executions, and a terrorist as one who engages in any acts intended to cause death, injury, or endangers a person's life; acts that cause extensive damage to a government or public facility, public places or private properties; or acts that cause extensive interference, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure."
In response, Pastora Florie Santiago, senior pastor of the Full Gospel Church and one of the participants in the forum, conveyed her gratitude to the Philippine Army for bringing them information and the need to support the government in these times.
"On behalf of our group of pastors here in Laoag City and Ilocos Norte, we are glad with this kind of information dissemination, raising awareness that we are to support our government and uniformed men because of what they are doing to our country. We believe that our future generation will be the one to enjoy the peace and security," Santiago said.
She also added that the group of pastors will fully support the present administration and the uniformed men.
"Today, as a group of pastors, we take a stand that we will fully support our present government and the untiring services, and the undivided loyalty of our uniformed men, who are risking their lives in order for the Philippines to be a great nation in the future," the female pastor ended.
In closing the forum, the group posed for a group photo, holding a statement card that expresses support to the government's program for the country's peace and order.
The Army also went to the town of Marcos to conduct the same activity on Thursday, July 9. (JCR/AMB/MJTAB/SMC/PIA Ilocos Norte)