The Diocese of Dumaguete and the 302nd Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Negros Oriental’s Tanjay City will partner once more to address social issues brought about by the insurgency in the province.
Msgr. Julius Perpetuo Heruela, a parish priest in Dauin town, said the Church, Military and Police Advisory Group (CMPAG) would be revived.
The CMPAG became inactive following the reassignment of then Dumaguete Bishop John Du as Palo, Leyte archbishop in 2012.
Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete tasked Heruela to begin the process of reviving the CMPAG.
“We will be reviving the [CMPAG] in Negros Oriental in the coming months to jumpstart this collaboration as instructed by Bishop Julito Cortes, to formally address the issues that have been discussed during their meeting recently with Brigadier General Joey Escanillas,” Heruela told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday afternoon, October 13.
Escanillas, 302nd brigade commander, paid a courtesy call to the bishop on October 12, in Dumaguete City and discussed the peace and security situation in the province.
The partnership will include livelihood programs, spiritual enlightenment and value formation for former rebels.
Fr. Hendrix Alar, the diocesan coordinator for disaster response, was also present during the courtesy call and asked Escanillas to help the church identify groups that may have links with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
The CMPAG was formed in 2008 with the church represented by the four dioceses on Negros Island — the Dioceses of Bacolod, Kabankalan, San Carlos, and Dumaguete — to help achieve peace, security, and development on Negros Island. (PNA)