Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict in Midsalip, ZDS: 53IB Peace-Building Forum Tackles Insurgency-Free Communities

To tackle peace-building initiatives in the Municipality of Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate on Executive Order 70 to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion (53IB) in partnership with Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Government held a Peace-Building Forum at Camp Major David P Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on March 25, 2021.

The forum, attended by Midsalip Barangay Officials, included the presentation of ELCAC Road Projects updates delivered by 53IB Operations Officer 1Lt. Oliver Carmen, E.O. 70 presented by PTF-ELCAC ZDS Alternate Focal Person Chrisjoe Morales, lecture on Anti- Terror Law by the ZDS Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Jackielyn Krystyl Nehema Bana, and lecture on Good Governance led by ZDS Provincial Planning and Development Officer Meriline Locson.

The program also included testimonies from Barangay Gasa Chairman Ronilo Antubo, Lakewood, ZDS; Sambayanan Regional Chairman Rev. Dr. Albert Tiondo; and selected former NPA rebels.“This forum provided a wider view of the government initiatives for peace and development in the Municipality of Midsalip,” Vice Mayor Stewart Padayhag said, representing Midsalip Mayor Elmer Soronio.

“I am very thankful for the Philippine Army’s extensive efforts toward a peaceful and secured province. I encourage all the Barangay Officials to be united in our goal for insurgency free communities in Midsalip for further development,” Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Task Force ELCAC Gov. Victor Yu said as Guest of Honor and Speaker.

“Our intensified operations against the CPP-NPA terrorists in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur bring us closer to truly peaceful communities toward progress,” 102nd Infantry “IGSOON” Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas.

“This forum brings up our united efforts on a shared responsibility toward peace and progress. The Philippine Army is one with the Municipality of Midsalip in serving and taking care of the people,” 53Ib Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.

Also present during the forum were Youth Leader Victoria Yu and ZDS NCIP Officer Henrico Gumibao, Provincial Planning and Development Officer Meriline Locson.

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