Army’s 81IB, MTF-ELCAC hold Peace Forum to 7 Barangays in Ilocos Sur

    Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – The Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (MTF-ELCAC's) Peace and Law Enforcement Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster in partnership with the troops of the 81st Infantry Battalion (81IB) facilitated a Peace Forum to the seven Barangays of Gregorio Del Pilar in Ilocos Sur at its Municipal Covered Court on February 5, 2021.
    With the theme: “Unity and Solidarity for Peace and Development of our Communities”, the activity aimed to enhance the awareness of the local residents against the scheme of organizing the masses and recruitment tactics of the CPP-NPA terrorists in the Barangays.
    The Peace Forum was largely supported by Mayor Henry S. Gallardo and the members of his Sangguniang Bayan Council. Included in the lecture during the forum was a briefer on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 by a representative from the IS-PPO, as well as a testimony and sharing of experience by a Former Rebel (FR). AVPs on the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) and other instructional and informative videos were also shown during the activity.
    At least 50 Barangay Officials, Barangay Police, and residents coming from the seven barangays of the municipality attended the activity.
    Also present during the activity were Municipal TF-ELCAC members headed by its Chairman, Mayor Henry S Gallardo; Ms. Marife Duculan, MLGOO; PLTC Ariel C Celino, Provincial Intelligence Officer, representing PD, IS-PPO; PMAJ Rodel U Ularte, Chief Provincial Operations Management Unit; PLT Rodel T Marzan, Chief of Police f Gregorio Del Pilar; Major Rogelio A Dumbrigue , Civil-Military Operations Officer of 702nd Bde; and Captain Judy M Valera, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Civil-Military Operations Company.
    A Covenant Signing highlighted the activity led by Mayor S. Gallardo, denouncing the CPP-NPA terrorists and declaring them as Persona Non-Grata in the Municipality of Gregorio del Pilar.
    Meanwhile, Mayor Gallardo stated that what the Philippine Army, PNP, and DILG brought for the activity is a solution to the problem of local terrorism. "If we had in any way been doing something before for those on the other side, let’s stop it already. Instead, I encourage you to support our government agencies on this campaign," she said.
    On the other hand, Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr., Commanding Officer of the 81st Infantry Battalion said, “The essence of the Whole-of-Nation approach is the involvement of everybody, all sectors of our society, especially our frontliners, and people in vulnerable communities. Educating them and enhancing their awareness against the evils and deception of the Communist Terrorist Group is one of our important tools in ending the local communist armed conflict in the province."
    7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Commander Major General Alfredo V. Rosario Jr. lauded the joint efforts of the security sector and the Gregorio del Pilar LGU consistent with the Army’s mandate of spreading awareness on the CPP-NPA’s deception and recruitment tactics.
    “Napakahalaga ng ganitong Peace Forum activity sa mga Barangay at Munisipyo kung saan direktang malalaman ng mga tao ang tamang impormasyon ukol sa kung anong klaseng grupo ang teroristang CPP-NPA; kung ano ang kanilang kahihinatnan sakaling sila ay sumapi sa grupong ito; at kung ano ang mga programa sa ilalim ng E-CLIP para sa mga rebeldeng gustong sumuko,” said Major General Rosario Jr. PA.
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