Friends Rescued (FRs) of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) together with the FRs of the Army’s 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade (102Bde) actively participated in the 2-Day Regional Friends Rescued Summit initiated by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) which culminated on October 7, 2022, at the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division (1ID) Headquarters in Upper Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.
The Regional FR Summit aims to formalize institutionalization of FR Organization in the regional level; present the regional action plan for the transformation program of FRs, their families, and communities; and ensure commitment of provincial local government units in implementing the transformation plan in their respective provinces.
The event was graced by OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr and was attended by 168 Friends Rescued. Sec. Galvez also led the ceremonial distribution of assistance of the DOH, NHA, and PhilHealth to the FRs.
ZDS Governor and PTF-ELCAC Chairperson Hon. Victor J. Yu who launched Project Good Life along with 53IB, DILG, JHCSC and other partners to de-radicalize and reintegrate FRs to society offers the willingness of the Province of Zamboanga del Sur to share with everyone its best practices in taking care of our Friends Rescued.
Also pesent in the activity were 1ID Commander Brig. Gen. Antonio Naffarete, 102Bde Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Battalion Commanders of 53IB, 44IB, and 97IB, DILG RD Paisal Abutazil, NCIP RD Ferdausi Cerna, PIA RD Noemi Edaga, representatives of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Governors, and representatives from other government agencies.