EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES: 53IB Distributes Book to Subanen Families

The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) continues to dominate the information environment and distributed the Subanen Version of its “Breaking Free” book entitled “Mhihalwas Ghenat Rin” in an activity held in Barangay Duelic, Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur on July 26, 2022.

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. According to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), 70% of the Friends Rescued (FRs) belong to Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities.

53IB’s Alpha Company led by 1Lt. Janryl Gumalad led the distribution of the said books, together with Midsalip Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) Chairperson and Mayor Elmer Soronio, Duelic Barangay Captain Diosdada Mañares, and Duelic IP Leader Timuay Flor Andulong.

In a statement, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar 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.

Barangay Duelic was declared “clear” of CPP-NPA influence in April 2019 through the Army’s Community Support Program (CSP). Barangay Duelic is also a recipient of 20-million-peso-worth Barangay Development Program (BDP) projects, the flagship program of NTF-ELCAC.

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