February 26, 2024

The chief of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division (5ID) said continuous dialogue and an open communication line with members of the community here would help solve 70 percent of Cordillera’s insurgency problem.

Col. Virgilio Noora, OIC assistant division commander of the 5ID and the commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Baguio, in an interview at the sidelines of the round table discussion with the Kordilyera Media-Citizens Council (KMCC), said part of JTF’s operations is to hold symposia with other agencies to understand all sectors.

He noted that for one, the meeting spearheaded by the KMCC, a multi-sectoral group that promotes responsibility and accountability in media, served as a venue to air the military’s side regarding the alleged red tagging of some Baguio City journalists.

He highlighted the importance of discussing issues with the people for the authorities to also get help in determining possible solutions.

During the round table discussion, he explained that the country’s insurgency issue is a combination of political and military.

“Addressing the political side, which is in white areas, is already 70 percent solved,” he said. Noora explained the JTF in Baguio was formed “because there is recruitment of the youth in schools here.”

Former Baguio City Mayor Reinaldo Bautista, who is co-chair of the KMCC, said: “Baguio is a safe haven. It must be maintained that way.” – PNA