The Armed Forces of the Philippines yesterday conferred on Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. the “Bayanihan Award” for taking a lead role in the implementation of the Internal Peace and Security Plan-Bayanihan in Negros Occidental, that aims to promote peace and development of insurgency-affected communities.
Maj. Gen. John Bonafos, commander of the AFP Central Command in Visayas, gave the Bayanihan Award to Marañon in behalf of AFP chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, during a forum on Peace, Integration and Development at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.
Bonafos said the award was supposed to be given to Marañon during the AFP day celebration in December last year, in recognition of his all-out support and that of the provincial government, and partnership in the implementation of Bayanihan plan.
Maranon, through the newly-organized Provincial Peace, Integration and Development Unit, actively involved and spearheaded the peace and development campaign in six conflict-affected communities of Escalante City, Toboso and Calatrava in northern Negros.
The creation of Pro-PIDU, a brainchild project of Col. Jon Aying, was credited for the successful implementation of Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan, in tandem with the civil society, including peace advocates, non-government and people’s organizations, as well as the Church.
Marañon who said he was greatly honored by the award given to him by the AFP, however, also said “I feel I don’t really deserve the award because there is much to do and so much to be done” adding, “We are all instruments for peace”.
He said he hopes the award gives him more resolve to do more for the peace of the province.
There can never be progress, if there is no peace, Marañon said.
He also said that the award should be given to the 303rd Infantry Brigade headed by Col. Aying, stressing that the provincial government only gave moral and material support to them.
Marañon said he hopes that, by the end of 2016, peace and order in Negros Occidental will be attained with the help of his provincemates and of his 11-point Negros First Agenda.
Under the Point of Care program, he said all those hospitalized in government-managed hospitals in Negros Occidental will be automatically enrolled in PhilHealth, including rebels.*GPB