CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, soldiers onboard military trucks with loudspeakers roved around every day in neighboring communities to broadcast messages of calm, unity and cooperation amidst the prevailing uncertainty.

The bottom line of the operations is to encourage the people to heed the government’s call to stay at home and educate the audience on the rationale behind such advice and how it benefits the individual, including their families.

Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said that his soldiers are tasked to provide support operations to health workers and security forces manning the checkpoints that were strategically emplaced to control the people’s movement in and out of the nation’s capital in accordance to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order placing the NCR under Enhanced Community Quarantine.

“We believe that through these loudspeaker operations, we are able to explain to our people the essence of that Presidential Directive thereby igniting every citizen’s sense of patriotism and civic duty to do their share and cooperate during what we can consider as the most challenging time of our generation”, said MGen Burgos.

He added that loudspeaker operations were instrumental to the government’s victory, particularly in inducing the surrender of numerous terrorists, during the Zamboanga Siege and the Campaign for the Liberation of Marawi.

Such unconventional type of operations also gained headways in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda when soldiers started roaming around Tacloban City broadcasting Christmas songs which uplifted the victims’ spirits amidst the horrors brought about by the calamity.

MGen Burgos added that “with those success stories, we are once again tapping the ever-reliable capabilities of these humble equipment”, referring to the loudspeakers, “with the hope that through the essential messages that we convey, we will be able to make our people rise above their individual comforts, rally around our government and move them to make sacrifices to ensure humanity’s survival during this trying moments in our history.”

He assured the people of Southern Tagalog that “although we are committed in the government’s effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, your soldiers will remain steadfast in our mandate as advocates of peace, servants of the people and defenders of Southern Tagalog.”

Incidentally, President Duterte declared unilateral ceasefire with the NPA terrorists on Wednesday to focus the security forces’ efforts in supporting the government’s fight against the deadly virus.

According to MGen Burgos, such proclamation only shows that the President, and the government in general, is sincere in his call for national unity and highlights the need for our nation to be united to survive this crisis. “We will obey and comply with this order from the Commander-in-Chief but shall remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring peace, security and development in CALABARZON region and MIMARO provinces”, ended MGen Burgos as he wished for everyone to be safe, healthy and COVID free.