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Mayor Garcia-Yulo visits NPA bailiwicks as she adopts Duterte’s ‘whole of nation’ strategy

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BACOLOD CITY — Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental is adopting the “whole-of-nation” approach advocated by President Rodrigo Duterte to achieve peace and development in her municipality.

“Sa tanan nga pumuluyo sang Moises Padilla, ari diri subong ang aton nga gobyerno kag kanami, katahum sang whole-of-nation approach ni Presidente Duterte (To the people of Moises Padilla, our government is here now, and President Duterte’s whole-of-nation approach is nice, good),” the mayor announced in an interview with visiting reporters on Friday.

For the first time since she assumed the mayoral post on July 1, Yulo visited the remote Barangay Quintin Remo, some 11 kilometers from the town proper, which is considered as a New People’s Army (NPA)-influenced area.

During her visit, she distributed some 150 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to agrarian reform beneficiaries of the Sitio Santos-Santos Farmers Association led by Magdalena Dagohoy.

“Ang gobyerno ang mapalapit sa tawo (The government should go to the people) so that’s what we’re doing. Sa iban nga mga sitios, kung mag okay lang sitwasyon kay may security issue ako gusto ko gid magkadto gid ko sa inyo (I also want to visit other sitios, but I still have security issues. Once the situation is okay, I will also visit you),” the mayor said.

Yulo, who defeated reelectionist Mayor Magdaleno Peña, said she wants a consultative governance that will allow her constituents to ask for necessities to be able to improve their living condition.

“That is the whole-of-nation approach stated by the President, that the government should go to the people. They need to feel the government is with them, that the government will respond when they ask for help. My administration is always there for them,” she added.

The mayor was joined by Capt. Hancel Lumandaz, chief of Moises Padilla Police Station; Capt. Harold Rendora, head of police Task Force Moises Padilla, La Castellana and Isabela; and Maj. Michael Victoria, executive officer of the Philippine Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion.

In December last year, President Duterte issued Executive Order 70 that institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation” approach in ending local communist armed conflict through the creation of a national task force that will take the lead in institutionalizing a national peace framework to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

On April 25, the mayor’s brother Marcelino “Marc” Garcia and nephew Jose Antonio “Michael” Garcia, were killed in an ambush in Barangay Inolingan while they were campaigning for the May 13 elections.

The election-related violence prompted President Duterte to visit the central Negros town on May 8, two days after Moises Padilla was placed under the control of the Commission on Elections.

The police are still investigating the latest killing in Moises Padilla, which claimed the life of Macagahay village councilman Raul Fat on August 15.

Fat was gunned down by two unidentified men who approached him in a nipa hut beside the barangay clinic. (PNA)