Tago, Surigao del Sur – the 36 th Infantry (Valor) Battalion have partnered with the LGU of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur for the Peace Caravan and Dialogue at Sitio Nalindog, Brgy Bolhoon,San Miguel Surigao del Sur on Monday, October 29, 2018 around 8 o’clock in the morning.
The 36IB under the command and leadership of Lt Col Xerxes A Trinidad PA and LGU of San Miguel, SDS headed by Hon Alvaro S Elizalde, Municipal Mayor, facilitated the conduct of Peace Caravan cum Dialogue for the benefit of IP Communities in Sitio’s Nalindog, Bishop and Tubod of Brgy Bolhoon of said town.
An estimated total of 250 IP residents benefited the services offered during the peace caravan such as the Medical and Dental consultation and treatment with free medicines; distribution of food packs; distribution of vegetable seedlings and corn seeds; distribution of leaflet and flyers of the Philippine Army in connection with the E-CLIP, AFP Recruitment and Lumad Killings; Free Haircut; Parlor Games; and Information Awareness Advocacy campaign of local agencies.
“Hon Ben Intas of Brgy Bolhoon said in his speech, “mapasalamaton kami nga mianhi ang local na panggamhanan sa usa sa mga layo nga sitio sa among barangay. Malipayon kami maskin pa sa kalisud sa dalan, mianhi gayud sila mayor uban ang kasundaluhan, kapulisan og lain laing ahensya sa gobyerno aron muhatag og grasya kanamo og mag-patin-aw sa hisgutanan sa kalinaw diring dapita”.
The Peace Caravan cum Dialogue was conducted upon the consensus of the Local Crisis Management Committee of the Municipality of San Miguel headed by Mayor Elizalde last October 15, 2018 in response to the Lumad Killings perpetrated by the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) (Datu Rexan Brital and Datu Bobong Elizalde) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) exploitation in the guise of helping Lumads thru the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) , which is not duly accredited by the DepEd of Surigao del Sur as an IP learning institution. Said dialogue intends to float specific issues and concerns and arrive with tangible solutions that could address the insurgency and livelihood problem in the area.
According to Captain Francisco Garello Jr PA, spokesperson of the 36IB, the peace caravan and dialogue was held in Sitio Nalindog in Brgy Bolhoon, a more than one (1) hour drive from the municipal of said town, so that services and the dialogue shall be community based in order to manifests the sincerity of the government and deliver the message of peace and at the same time denouncing the CNTs in its recent spate of killings of Tribal Leaders and show support and commitment to the threatened lumad communites.
“gipatay ang ako bana na walay kalaban laban. Ang mga gipasangil sa iyaha nga sala, tumo tumo ra kato. Nangusog ang ako bana nga mutabang sa mga kaigsoonang lumad pinaagi sa pagpakusog sa SLT apan gisilutan kini sa mga NPA nga walay kalooy”, Racquel Brital, wife of datu Rexan Brital, said in their vernacular language teary eyed during her talk on the brief program of the caravan.
During the dialogue attended by Mayor Elizalde, IP leaders and Purok Presidents of Sitio Bishop, Tubod and Nalindog with Brgy officials, San Miguel MPS, 36IB Philippine Army, TESDA SDS, ALS DepEd, Mun IPMR and Tribal Chieftain and the NCIP, issues such as sustainable livelihood in their ancestral domain, Lumad killings, IP education concerning the TRIFPSS were raised.
In his statement, Lt Col Xerxes A Trinidad, Commanding Officer of the 36 th Infantry (Valor) Battalion said, “the Philippine Army will focus and pursue resolving issues in the geographically isolated and disadvantageous areas which were made as haven and staging area of CNTs in their terroristic activities. Your soldier here in this province in close collaboration with the local government unit and other stakeholders will be relentless in combatting the causes of the insurgency problem. While we confront the armed component of the CNTs, we admit that there is a legitimate issues that needs to be address and we’ll always be here to support the LGU and show our commitment in attaining peace and development in every IP community”.
Lt Col Trinidad added that the issues raised will be again tackled for the next dialogue.