Villanueva, who head the AFP in the Visayas, said this lightens their job because they also gets support from other sectors of society, in implementing the IPSP Bayanihan, aside from CMAG-Negros.
CMAG–Negros, that marked its 4th founding anniversary yesterday, was created through a memorandum of understanding between the Dioceses of Bacolod, Kabankalan, San Carlos and Dumaguete and the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, to pursue the collective vision of promoting human dignity and sustaining peace and development in Negros Island.
Villanueva said they extend cooperation to church activities, especially in providing basic services through medical missions and other projects.
CMAG-Negros recently distributed relief goods and provided health-related services to more than 8,000 earthquake victims in La Libertad, Negros Oriental.
Major General Jose Mabanta, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said CMAG-Negros plays a vital role in the peace and development of the Armed Forces.
He added that the IPSP Bayanihan in Negros, is slowly but surely working, despite the tedious process of de-influencing rebel-affected areas in the island.
Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ. 6th district) said yesterday that there is no need to resort to armed struggle, to change a system. As much as possible, we would like to go through with the peace process to settle the conflict, she said.
Villanueva said the killing of an Army junior officer in a recent ambush in Cauayan is a risk that they have take as soldiers. Although they are exposed to danger and threats by the enemy, he said, this will not deter them from doing their job, he added.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Undersecretary Luisito Montalvo, meanwhile, hailed the creation of CMAG-Negros, that he said should be replicated in other areas of the country.
Kabankalan Bishop Patricio Buzon, assisted by Villanueva and Mabanta, also distributed plaques of appreciation to San Carlos Bishop Jose Advincula, Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Major General Vicente Porto, Brig. Gen. Manuel Luis Ochotorena, Colonels Franco Nemesio Gacal, Pio Dinoso and Erwin Bernard Neri, Lt. Cols. Alberto Desoyo, Antonio Nafarrete and Eduardo Gubat, for their support to CMAG-Negros.
Present at the activity was Kabankalan Mayor Isidro Zayco, Cols. Francisco Patrimonio, Oscar Lactao and Jon Ayeng, Fr. Aniceto Buenafe, Diocese of Bacolod Social Action director; Fr. Rolando Nueva, SAC director of Kabankalan Diocese; and Fr. Nacario Nadio, Diocese of San Carlos assistant SAC director. (The Visayan Daily Star)