By RHAYDZ B BARCIA
LEGAZPI CITY: The adverse impact of climate change due to global warming is more destructive and challenging than the armed conflict, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Emmanuel T Bautista told Albayanos recently
“Disaster is more dangerous and destructive due to climate change than the armed struggle. Remember typhoon Pablo in Mindanao? Natural disaster occurs in just a split second so we must be prepared,” Bautista said during the commemoration of Albayano heroes of national liberation held at Bicol University here.
“This is more confronting than the armed conflict that’s why we’re giving high priority by integrating climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management to our programs and projects for us to be able to respond to the public and protect the environment for our generations,” Bautista pointed out.
The AFP chief said that although the military’s primary task is to protect the state and the people, there is also an urgent need to focus on climate change and address it through the spirit of the Bayanihan to cushion the brunt of harsh climate.
Bautista, the man behind the counter-insurgency program called Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) or “Bayanihan,” said that through this program, peace, development, and environmental preservation become attainable if all sectors of the society, including “our brothers in the hills” work together toward a common goal.
“We’re appealing to our brothers in the hinterlands—the New People’s Army — to stop the arms struggle and instead lay down their arms and help us work together to address the adverse impact of climate change,” Bautista said, adding that “our problem today is not armed struggle but the need to unite in pulling off peace and progress.”
Bautista flew to Albay to grace the Memorial Day for Albayano Heroes of National liberation. AlbayGov. Joey Salceda presented an award to Bautista at the Climate Change Academy here in recognition of his deep commitment to address the impact of climate change and mitigate adaptation measures.
The provincial government of Albay led the memorial for Albayano heroes as one of the highlight events of the month-long Magayon Festival here.
Salceda said that the Memorial Day is a tribute to local heroes in Albay who assiduously offered their lives to liberate the people from the hands of the oppressors.
He stressed that the legacies of the brave men and women who fought for freedom of the province should be remembered to promote awareness among Albayanos the contributions of local heroes and in turn appreciate their heroic deeds to foster unity and enrich national pride.
Replica statues of these four local heroes were paraded and highlighted during the civic-military parade and wreath laying ceremonies at the Bicol University oval.
The local heroes honored here were General Jose Ignacio Paua, General Simeon Arboleda Ola, and Camilo Jacob.
Gen Paua is the Filipino-Chinese revolutionary sent by Emilio Aguinaldo to the Bicol Region in 1899 to raise funds for the newly-established Philippine Republic while Ola is the last revolutionary general from Guinobatan, Albay to surrender to the Americans in 1903.
Camilo Jacob was a photojournalist from Polangui who was among the eleven of the 15 Bicol Martyrs who died by the Spanish firing squad on the same spot in Bagumbayan, Manila (now called Luneta) were national hero Jose Rizal was executed.
Also highlighted was the sesquicentennial (150th) birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution.
According to Salceda, Bonifacio who married an Albayana, lived in Albay between 1895 and 1896 to work and recruit members for the Katipunan.
A rare Bonifacio monument was long erected in Sto. Domingo, Albay when it was the norm for almost every town and city in the country to erect monuments in their plazas exclusively for the more popular Dr Jose Rizal. – Bicol Mail