‘Oplan Bayanihan to improve Phl Global Peace Index rating’

Published by rudy Date posted on May 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The military is confident that it can help improve the country’s standing in the Global Peace Index (GPI) through a more vigorous implementation of its Bayanihan security plan, which focuses on community development programs and on greater civilian involvement in addressing security concerns.

“Despite the country being included in the 20 nations least at peace, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) remains optimistic that Bayanihan will bring about desirable and positive results in the long run,” military public affairs chief Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. told The STAR.

The Philippines is among the 20 nations “least at peace,” based on the GPI.

The GPI, prepared by international research group Institute for Economics and Peace, ranks countries by their peacefulness and aims to determine the factors that sustain peace. The Philippines’ latest GPI ranking was unchanged from the previous GPI edition.

Burgos said the involvement of civilians would contribute to the success of the drive against security threats.

“We are firm in our belief that the approaches we are adopting will not fail us since it is a collective effort of all sectors in the community,” he said.

Burgos said the GPI study may have been conducted during the time when stakeholders are just starting to feel the impact of Bayanihan.

“We will continue to step up our programs that seek to attack the causes of insurgency,” he said.

Bayanihan took effect last Jan. 1 and will be in force until 2016.

The security plan also emphasizes respect for human rights and compliance with international humanitarian law.

Under the plan, the government would hold peace talks with the communist rebels and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) while isolating terrorists and lawless groups.

Burgos said they are hopeful that the communist rebels would eventually give up their armed struggle.

“Hopefully we can also convince the NPA (New People’s Army) to abandon their armed struggle and follow the ways of peace in resolving conflict,” he said.

Burgos noted that the MILF has been helping the government in its peace and development programs.

The government is talking peace with the MILF and the National Democratic Front, the political arm of the CPP-NPA. –Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star)

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