For the first time in the history of Negros Oriental, the Philippine Army has provided for security to a medical mission organized by Karapatan and other organizations held during the weekend.
Operatives of the 11th Infantry battalion headed by Lt. Col. Ramil Bitong sent troopers to Sitio Kalabak-labakan in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan, to secure some 300 residents who availed of the medical and relief mission.
Bitong said the mountain clinic was spearheaded by Kaugmaon-KMP headed by Josephine Saguran and Erwin Sabejon, as well as Karapatan with counterparts from the Occidental side of the island and supported by the Guihulngan Health Workers Organization, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Franciscan Mountain Clinic Staff and Negros Island Health Integrated Program based on documents found in the area.
He added that it does not matter what group is spearheading the medical mission and what are their leanings are, as long as it is for the good of the people. It is a welcome development that has to be supported, by ensuring an orderly and safe conduct of the three-day medical mission, he pointed out.
Bitong said this is unprecedented because these organizations has been attacking Provincial Ordinance No. 5, which requires groups intending to conduct similar activities in any part of the province to secure first a permit or coordinate first with the local government unit concerned, the purpose of which is for their own safety.
In this case, Bitong said Karapatan and Kaugmaon have informed the office of the governor and the mayor, before bringing their goods to the mountain clinic, such as rice canned goods, and the like.
This is a confirmation of the noble objective of “Oplan Bayanihan” which is for the benefit of the people, Bitong said.*JG
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