MARAMAG, Bukidnon (PIA)–Five remote barangays of Cabanglasan town in Bukidnon will now be actively engaged in the government’s peacekeeping efforts as the Army’s 88th Infantry “Maringal” Battalion (88IB) and the local government unit (LGU) officials gather together in a simple ceremony to send the troopers off to the terrorist-affected barangays.
During the send-off rites, Cabanglasan mayor Renante Inocando warmly welcomed the 88IB soldiers as he lauded the Philippine Army for prioritizing Cabanglasan LGU to benefit from this Community Support Program (CSP).
“CSP will help us [LGU] in identifying community concerns, which is also a big help in the delivery of various services in far-flung areas,” the mayor said.
Lt. Col. Franklin F. Fabic, 88IB commander, explained that the CSP troops would not be bringing with them the solutions immediately. Instead, they would gather issues and concerns that caused problems in the community. All the gathered concerns and data will be linked to the proper agencies that can provide right answers or could help address such issues.
“This send-off ceremony for our community support teams is our way of showing our novel intention and respect to the LGU—and to our tribal leaders—where the CSP troops will be deployed. Your Philippine Army will be working in your areas not only to address peace and security concerns but also to help facilitate the safe delivery of government services in distant and conflict-affected barangays. Our aim is to bring our government closer to the people,” the 88IB commander said.
He clarified that CSP is one of the tools employed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is in line with the government’s efforts to combat activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), which is focused on socio-economic and cultural problems.
Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon, 403rd Brigade commander, meanwhile said, “Your Philippine Army is always here as a partner of the LGUs in attaining sustainable peace and inclusive development. It is imperative that we undertake the whole-of-nation approach to end the local communist armed conflict as stipulated in Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte. Let us help one another and work as a team to achieve this objective.”
Mayor Renante Inocando, Vice-mayor Lolita Obsioma, 403rd Brigade Commander Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon, and 88IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Franklin F. Fabic graced the ceremony.
The Punong Barangays (village chiefs), officials of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and other government agency heads also participated in the event.
The ceremony that started with the tribal ritual ended with the tribal leaders’ “Signing of Commitment” in support of the CSP troopers’ immersion in the municipality. (CMO, 88IB, PA/PIA Bukidnon)