ESPERANZA, Agusan del Sur – The Local Government Unit of Esperanza together with the 41st Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Company, 4CMO Battalion, and 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army empowered the members of Esperanza United Farmers Association (EUFA) through an election of its officers held at Barangay Piglawigan Gymnasium, Esperanza, ADS, September 24, 2020.
The said farmers association consists of 15 redirected organizations which have 390 members and were formerly members and supporters of the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Sur (NAMASUR), a recently exposed Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).
After realizing the futility of their membership in NAMASUR, they disowned the said UGMO and decided to legalize their group by redirecting and reorganizing it through the assistance of the LGU-Esperanza, 41st CMO Company, and 26IB. “Dili na nato tugotan nga padayun kita limbongan sa mga rebeldeng grupo. Kaniadto gigamit kita sa ilang sayop nga ideolohiya ug dili kana masubli pa. Kitang tanan magtinabangay para sa kalamboan, kaayohan ug kahapsay alang sa katawhan sa atong lungsod.”, Sancino G. Mandapiton, the newly-elected President of EUFA said.
Maj. Jerson B. Igloria, the Officer-in-charge of 41st CMO Company stressed out the role of the elected officers in their organization. “This is the right step in going to the right direction. To the newly-elected officers of EUFA, you must work together to reach the goals of your organization. As the leaders, you have to protect your group from the deceptive tactics of the CTG in using our farmers against the government.”, he said.
Hon. Leonida P. Manpatilan, the Municipal Mayor of Esperanza, encouraged the leaders of the said association to craft project proposals for the betterment of their organization. “The door of LGU-Esperanza is wide open for you. If you have project proposals, we are here to support and assist the farmers of Esperanza.”, she said.
Meanwhile, Hon. Erwin G. Dumaguing, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Member of Esperanza and the Chairman for Peace and Order lauded the Philippine Army’s efforts in fighting insurgency in their municipality. “Dako akong pasalamat sa Philippine Army labi na sa 26IB ug 41st CMO Company nga walay hunong nga paningkamot aron wagtangon ang walhong grupo. Ingon usa ka miyembro sa komunidad, magtinabangay kitang tanan aron sa pag undang ug pagwagtang sa insurgensiya sa atong pinalanggang nasod.”,he said.
Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, the Commanding Officer of 26IB, commended the newly-elected officers of EUFA. “These farmers were victims of deception and exploitation of the CTG and I commend your group for turning your back against the terrorists.”,he said. “Our farmers are the reason why we eat today. We should protect them and their land from these terrorists. Let’s start working together and defeat these left-leaning organizations towards lasting peace and development.” Lt. Col. Goce added.