By Aaron Recuenco
Security officials have declared the province of Marinduque as insurgency free following the government’s aggressive push for localized peace talks with communist rebels.
Police Brig. Gen. Tomas Apolinario Jr., director of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said the declaration came after a series of assessments on the internal security situation of Marinduque.
“There was a signing of Memorandum of Agreement, declaring the province as a Stable Internal Peace and Security or Insurgency free,” said Apolinario.
The activity was participated by local police and military officials, as well as local government officials and representatives of various non-government organizations.
Apolinario said Marinduque province was initially recommended to be declared Insurgency Free in July 2009 since no insurgent activity, or violent or non- violent, was recorded in the province.
Marinduque becomes the third province in the country to be declared insurgency free by the police and the military.
The first was Cavite in 2017 and Romblon in February 2019.
The government is opting for localized peace talks which give local officials to initiate or entertain negotiations with local communist rebels operating in their respective areas.
Police stations nationwide were also tasked to accept communist rebels who want to surrender.
President Duterte terminated the peace talks following a series of attacks by the rebels while negotiations were going on.
The insurgents have been fighting the government for more than four decades.