The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) in partnership with Local Government Units (LGUs) of Zamboanga del Sur affirmed its commitment to sustain initiatives and projects to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in the province during the meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council on February 2, 2020, in Pagadian City.
In his presentation, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera recommended the following on sustaining ELCAC projects to totally defeat and end local communist armed conflict:
- Continued support from LGUs to Former Rebels as they are included as constituents in the province • Support Adopt-A-Cafgu Project – Monthly Support to our CAA (Rice Allowance); Medical Check-Up
- Massive Distribution of Breaking Free from Communist Deception and Conquering the Hills Book – Public Awareness and/or School Dissemination. The Breaking book highlights eye-opening narratives of actual accounts of young people’s experiences, who were once deceived but were able to break free from the shadows of communist deceptions in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The Conquering The Hills book is about the successful military campaigns against the communist terrorists in Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental.
- Replication of OPLAN AMUMA of the Municipality of Dumingag to other Municipalities with conflict-affected areas
- Operationalization of Halfway House for Former Rebels in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur
- Peace Building Forum sustainment and consultation
- Initiate more projects and address issues for Muslim Communities
“The sustainment of our gains in finally ending the local communist armed conflict in the province of Zamboanga del Sur will not be possible without our strong partnerships with the local government units – provincial, city and municipal, and different government agencies together with concerned non-government organizations,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.