LIANGA, Surigao Del Sur (19 June 2020) -– In cooperation with the Tago and San Miguel local government units, around a hundred children from the conflict-affected Indigenous People (IP) Communities of Barangay Caras-an, Tago, and Barangay Libas-Sud of San Miguel, Surigao Del Sur received from the Community Support Program (CSP) of the 7th Special Forces Company-3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion school supplies last June 16 in anticipation for the opening of their classes in August. 

The school supply packages for the grade schoolers consists of a notebook, eraser, pencil, ballpen, sharpener, crayon and scissors.

IP communities in Caras-an and Libas-sud were once exploited by the militant group Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) by mobilizing the innocent IPs using evacuation tactic (Taktikang Bakwit) to demonize the community support teams assigned in the sitio to secure and assist the local government unit (LGU) in delivering the basic social services.

With the recent efforts of the task force ending local communist armed conflict (TF-ELCAC) with the strong support of the LGUs and IP leaders to educate the conflict-affected communities on the deceptive recruitment scheme of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs), the evacuation tactic was rendered insignificant.

Currently, IP leaders, and barangay officials coordinate with the local disaster risk management offices to systematically handle evacuations to prevent CNT-affiliated groups from exploiting IPs and to continuously conduct combat operations against the CNTs.

                                                                                                                                                          “The LGUs and IP leaders fully support the combat operations against CNTs because they want to end insurgency as soon as possible. More so, they realized that the community was never the target or the objective of any combat operations but the CNTs contrary to the malicious propaganda of their supporters,” Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA, 3SFBn Commander, said.

Meanwhile, community support teams will continuously be deployed in conflict affected sitios not only to facilitate the delivery of basic services but to reach out and bring the message of hope to Communist NPA Terrorists who would like to surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government. (ia/SPH)