The Barangay Captains of the Municipalities of Kumalarang and Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur were empowered as they participated in the Local Peacebuilding Forum on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) initiated by the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion yesterday, October 14, at 53rd IB Headquarters in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur. The said Peacebuilding Forum was conducted to facilitate the establishment of sustainable peace by addressing the root causes of conflict.
In his welcome remarks, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said this [peacebuilding forum] will sustain the peace and order in the barangays.
“Our activity today will strengthen partnerships and collaborations among the Barangay Chairmen and the Local Chief Executives, resulting in sustained peace and order situation,” said Lt. Col. Herrera. The Unit briefing and updates in ELCAC road projects were given by 53IB’s Civil-Military Operations Officer 2Lt. George Yu Jr, and various lectures were conducted during the said forum: Updates on EO 70 by DILG-ZDS PTF-ELCAC Alternate Focal Person Mr. Chrisjoe Morales; Anti-Terrorism Law by 53IB’s Legal Retainer Atty. Flavio Cordero, Jr; the contribution of ELCAC’s Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) to Peacebuilding by TESDA-ZDS Provincial Director Engr. Alan Bacatan; Testimony of Former CPP-NPA Cadre by Samabayanan Regional Chairman Rev. Dr. Albert Roy Tiondo, Ph.D., MPA, D.D.; and Testimony of a Barangay Chairman by Hon. Jeffrey Señara, chairman of the geographically isolated and disadvantaged barangay of Saad in Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.
In his message, Zamboanga del Sur 2nd District Representative Hon. Leonardo Babasa, Jr. said that the forum will unify the government efforts in the two municipalities.
Meanwhile, Kumalarang mayor Ruel Molina encouraged the Barangay Chairmen to continue supporting government efforts to prevent the resurgence of Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTGs) in the said municipalities.
The forum was also participated by Guipos Vice Mayor Hon. Junevell Oraiz Lami-ing; Guipos SB Member Hon. Earl Vincent Revelo; and Guipos PNP.
The task of peacebuilding, according to the Army’s Peacebuilding Operations Handbook, has to be carried out primarily by the citizens of the country while outside agencies play an enabling and supportive role.