“New Security Plan is Open Document”

LAOAG CITY (May 10) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) North Luzon command presented its new internal peace and security plan (IPSP) for winning peace before members of the Ilocos Norte media during a briefing on Monday.

The plan, which took effect in January, was dubbed “Bayanihan” replacing the previous campaign plan “Bantay Laya.”

Lt. Col. Desiderio Alaba, Commanding Officer of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Currimao town, said the new campaign plan is an open document that the public could access in the AFP’s website.

“It is an open document that was crafted by the AFP, the communities and other stakeholders,” Alaba said during the Kapihan sa PIA with media practitioners, a regular roundtable discussion that the Philippine Information Agency in Ilocos Norte conducts.

Alaba said the plan does away with the government’s previous act of merely running after rebel groups without observing the overall framework of the government’s peace process.

In achieving peace, the AFP is guided by the provisions on human rights and the international humanitarian law, he said.
“Our internal security efforts do not involve mere defeating the threat groups. We are shifting our efforts towards involving the civil society and the communities in achieving peace,” Alaba said.

According to Alaba, making the security plan public is one of the approaches in involving the communities in the government’s efforts towards achieving peace.

Since January, the North Luzon command has initiated an information drive on the “Bayanihan” plan in various sectors in Ilocos Norte.

Alaba said similar media briefings will be conducted in Ilocos Sur and La Union as part of their area of responsibility to reach a wider audience and make known the government’s security plan.