Army, PNP team up for Holy Week security in Northern Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/16 April) – The Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police  in Northern Mindanao will showcase their partnership in maintaining peace and order and internal security operations on Holy Week.

Units from the 4th Infantry Division and the PNP in Region 10 will share personnel and expertise to ensure a safe Holy Week for all.

The annual Catholic tradition starts April 17, Palm Sunday, a commemoration of The Christ’s triumphant entry to Jerusalem.

Regional police director Chief Supt. Conrado Laza and Maj. Gen. Victor Felix signed a memorandum of Agreement Friday on the creation of the regional Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC).

The JPSCC provides the operational framework for the convergence of the PNP’s mandate in maintaining peace and order and the military’s mandate to lead in internal security operations.

Laza said the convergence of the functions of the PNP and armed forces will result in a more efficient maintenance of public order.

Felix said that although the PNP and the AFP have different mandates, there is a thin line between internal security operations, which involves going after armed groups, and fighting criminality.

4th ID spokesperson Maj. Eugenio Julio Osias IV said the creation of the JPSCC will institutionalize mutual cooperation and coordination between the PNP and the AFP in the region.

Felix said the common problem in both internal security operations and fighting criminality is the shortage of personnel, equipment and expertise.

“Through the JPSCC, the AFP can share our bomb-sniffing dogs and explosive and ordnance disposal units with PNP units securing public transport and places of worship,” he said.

Chief Supt. Laza meanwhile said that PNP units will assist Army units, especially in critical areas to prevent armed group from conducting offensives during one of the most important seasons of Christendom. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)