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Peacekeeping ops must not halt, level-up info drive vs NPA

The influence of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) remains a peril to the Filipinos living in the hinterlands, as they are prone to recruitment towards wrong ideologies against the Philippine government.

Most guerilla units of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) have been successfully dismantled by government troops in Zamboanga Peninsula region, but peacekeeping operations should not halt - else the lefties would take the opportunity to rebuild and reestablish their factions.

The Regional Development Council (RDC) has recently released a Resolution No.42, declaring Zamboanga Peninsula in a state of stable internal peace and security, despite of it; anti-insurgency efforts must be continued through the collaborative efforts of the Regional Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) member agencies.

Further, the army as one of the leading enforcement groups in addressing this concern assures that safety of the country and its people from human-induced crises will be a priority, and once terrorists surrender, they will be treated professionally.

“Your army will always remain professional in handling and processing our friends rescued, regardless of being a former rebel,” Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas said.

Just this month (July 2022), terrorist couple surrendered to the Philippine Army after being wounded in a recent encounter in Dumingag, Zamboanga Del Sur, who were immediately brought to Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center for medical attention.

“They are proof that our strategy [against CPP-NPA] is effective. We encourage their comrades – those in the hinterlands, to lay down their arms and return now to the folds of law,” 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Batallion Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera affirmed.

Meanwhile, the two arenow listed as beneficiaries of dedicated programs such as the Enhanced – Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), where they will receive immediate cash and livelihood assistance from the bureaucracy.

Every Filipino especially the Indigenous People in the upland areas, wants to have a safe place to live away from infiltrations of CTGs propaganda. Thus, with the advocacy of the former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on ending local communist armed conflict, this effort must live and retain in the current administration.

INFO DRIVE VS TERRORISM BEEF-UPS

The information campaigns and awareness on CTGs propaganda at the grassroots level are very empowering, as the Philippine Army accelerates their means in providing information that are now translated into the native dialects of IPs.

Multiple copies of a Subanen version of "Breaking Free" book entitled "Mhihalwas Ghenat Rin,” were distributed to the Subanen tribe in Midsalip, Zamboanga Del Sur.

The book features narrations of actual accounts of young people’s fateful journeys that were recruited and once deceived by the CPP-NPA but were able to surrender and went back to the folds of the law.

According to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), 70% of the Friends Rescued (FRs) belongs to Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities.

"This [book] will help us empower vulnerable sectors in the hinterlands especially the youth to become more resilient against the deceptive schemes of the CPP-NPA," Lt. Col. Herrera said.

The "Mhihalwas Ghenat Rin” book also forms part of the army’s power approach to continuously win the narratives against CPP-NPA.

Another book dubbed “Beyond the Surface” was also held its book signing recently that contains compelling revelations and offers a basis for the Philippine Army's soft-power approach in formulating interventions and deradicalization programs for former CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists with the local and national government agencies.

The book was foreworded by Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista and epilogue by Lt. Col. Herrera.

Positively, the information materials being disseminated to the grassroots communities are effective to counter to CTG’s lies and deceptions.

For more than 50 years battling with the communist terrorist groups either in propaganda or in bloody encounters, we are keeping the hope that this will come to an end and people will enjoy to live in an insurgency-free motherland. (JRA/PIA9-Zamboanga City/With reports from the 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Batallion)

About the Author

Jayson Aucensillo

Job Order

Region 9

Jayson R. Aucensillo is a Public Information Assistant and acting Regional Executive Secretary to the Regional Director. The focal person of the Ivolunteers Network in Zamboanga Peninsula that comprises school leaders of different states, colleges and universities. 

He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Development Communication (DevCom) major in Peace Journalism and an advocate of LGBT+ rights. He is also a developmental journalist who writes about the works of the government.

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