The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) in collaboration with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples – Region IX (NCIP-IX) launched the Subanen Version of the book “Breaking Free from Communist Deception” in an event held at 53IB Headquarters, Camp Major David Sabido, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on June 20, 2022, with NCIP-IX Regional Director Ferdausi Saniel Cerna as Guest of Honor and Speaker.
Breaking Free, with Subanen title “Mhihalwas Ghenat Rin,” was originally written in English by Pagadian-based author Leah D. Agonoy, and foreword by 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera. The Subanen version was translated by a team from NCIP-IX and Subanen Scholars: Ms. Margarita Baya, Ms. Criselda Boliver, Pastor Ronald Paquing, Mr. Nelson Lamigan, and Timuays Langhap Jesie S. Imbing and Magura Sacheuz Bayamban, Jr.
In his welcome remarks, Lt. Col. Herrera said the book will educate and empower vulnerable sectors of the society especially the young children and the youth to become a more resilient community.
“This [book] will help us empower vulnerable sectors in the hinterlands especially the youth to become more resilient against the deceptive schemes of the CPP-NPA,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“This book also forms part of our soft power approach to continously win the narratives against CPP-NPA,” Lt. Col. Herrera added.
Meanwhile, NCIP-IX RD Ferdausi Cerna expressed his gratitude to Lt. Col. Herrera, the 53IB, and all who were involved in the translation of the Subanen Version of Breaking Free.
“I express my gratitude to Lt. Col. Herrera and all those who were involved in the translation of this book. Now, our fellow IPs can know, through this book, the evil and deceptive nature of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs),” said Dir. Cerna.
The book features narrations of actual accounts of young people’s fateful journeys who were recruited and once deceived by the CPP-NPA but were able to surrender and went back to the folds of the law.
This is also the first time that a book has been translated into Subanen dialect.
The translators who also delivered their messages included: Ms. Margarita Baya, Ms. Criselda Boliver, Mr. Nelson Lamigan, and Thimuay Langhap Jesie S. Imbing.