Outreach program held for Tapaz folk

An outreach program and a medical mission spearheaded by the Regional Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict-6 for some residents of Tapaz, Capiz were held on January 28 at the Civic Center.

Leading the activity were Governor Esteban Evan Contreras, Tapaz Mayor Roberto Palamar, Police Regional Office-6 director Brigadier General Rolando Miranda, 3rd Infantry Division assistant division commander Brigadier General Noel Baluyan of the Philippine Army, and John Ace Azarcon, Department of the Interior and Local Government Capiz provincial director.

Miranda said the activity aims to develop a strong collaborative partnership with the community which is essential to the government’s effort in the fight against insurgency and criminality in the region.

Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 public information officer, said the more than 280 residents availed themselves of medical and psychological assistance, free haircuts, gift packs from the police regional office and the provincial government, as well as cash assistance from Tapaz.

The recipients are from insurgency-infiltrated areas of Tapaz whose relatives surrendered to the government on January 8 in Calinog, Iloilo, Malong said.

On December 30, policemen simultaneously served 28 search warrants in the villages of Tapaz and Calinog following reports that the suspects were armed, but the operations led to the deaths of nine people, including barangay officials, and the arrest of 17.

The fatalities and those who were arrested were said to be leaders and members of the indigenous community, a claim that was vehemently denied by state forces.*PRO-6 photo