ARMY IN PANAY INTENSIFIES INTER-AGENCY COLLABORATION
CAMP ADRIANO HERNANDEZ, Dingle, Iloilo – To sustain the collaborative efforts in promoting peace and development in Panay island, the Army’s 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade has intensified its inter-agency collaboration through the conduct of a four-day information drive and seminar which started last Tuesday here.
This seminar, which aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of Peace and Development Teams (PDT) in terms of inter-agency coordination and collaboration, is attended by Company Commanders, Civil Military Operations Officers and NCOs from different units under the 301st Brigade.
They (PDTs) served as conduit of other government agencies in conveying the plans and programs of the government.
Hence, resource speakers from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority were invited to enlighten about their various plans and programs that would help people in the communities here in Panay.
This seminar will also ensure that the right information and the right solution to issues will reach the grassroots through the PDTs.
It can be recalled that last April of this year, the PDT from the 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion, which is supposed to bring in representatives from the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct information drive with the populace regarding government’s various programs and the issue on ancestral domain, figured in a firefight with the New People’s Army (NPA) at Brgy. Nayawan, Tapaz, Capiz.
That incident prompted the said agencies to postpone the activity for fear that their employees will be caught in the crossfire.
“Awareness of the people on the government’s peace and development programs led to the NPA rebels losing their mass base,” said Major General Jose Mabanta Jr, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division.
“Right information in remote communities leads to increased contentment among the people. This condition means there will be lessened capability for the NPA to recruit members,” Mabanta added.
The Army is also continuously pursuing information drive in schools to significantly reduce recruitment of potential cadres from the student sector.
Based on intelligence reports, CPP/NPA here in Western Visayas lacks quality cadres or political officers that will guide the rebels to sustain the armed struggle.
Reports further revealed that cadres from other parts of Luzon were assigned here in the Visayas to reinforce the dwindling organization and leadership vacuum in the CPP/NPA.
PR by the 3rd INFANTRY (SPEARHEAD) DIVISION