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Combat Operations ensure safe delivery of government services in conflict-affected areas LGU, IP Council

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Lianga, Surigao Del Sur- “The purpose of combat operations in the hinterlands is to ensure the LGUs’ safe delivery of basic services intended for conflict-affected communities in Surigao del Sur,” Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga Tribal Chieftain, said on July 30 during the Lianga Serbisyo Caravan in sitio Simowao (Km 9), Diatagon, Lianga.

Serbisyo Caravan was spearheaded by the Local Government Unit of Lianga led by Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen, 9th Special Forces “Hounds” Company, 544 Engineer Battalion, and member agencies of the Local Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF-ELCAC). Services provided include the distribution of food supplies, hygiene kits, medical and dental missions, free haircut, registration of IP members to the Local Civil Registry, fun and games and distribution of free clothes.

“Contrary to the rehashed false statements of anti-government groups accusing the military of abuses, the military immerse in the communities to complement the implementation of government programs for our IP communities,” Datu Duhac, said.

“Hindi military ang lumapit sa amin, kami ang humingi ng tulong sa military para lumayo sa komunidad ang mga teroristang NPA at ang MAPASU (front-group) na pumipigil sa pagpasok ng serbsiyo ng gobyerno para manatili kaming mahirap at galit sa gobyerno,” Duhac added.

Sitio Simowao, a gateway to Andap Valley Complex, was once comfort zone of Communist NPA terrorists where Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) school, an NPA terrorist recruitment facility was located and a staging point of NPA-instigated Taktikang bakwit.

Currently, with the strong support of the IP community, the IP leaders and the Local Government Unit, the sitio was transformed as a developed IP community where there is a rehabilitated farm-to-market road, a DepEd IP school, a CAFGU detachment, organized IP civilian volunteers for peace and security, registered women’s and farmers’ peoples organizations, youth leadership summit trained IP youth leaders.

Meanwhile, this sitio has gone through a lot, we will do our best to do our job to support the Lianga LGU and the tribal council in order to reach far more sitios of Diatagon and provide what the IP communites deserve from the government, “Lt. Col Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA, 3rd Special Forces Battalion commander, said.

“Aside from the combat operations to destroy Communist NPA terrorists to drive them away from the sitios, we will uproot their system of recruiting innocent IP members through the Community Support Program and the IP tribal council’s traditional self-governance and self-determination. We will be here to protect them to perform their customary laws and duties to save their tribe from CNTs’ corruption,” Baybayan, exclaimed.

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