Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur— A fierce battle on the basketball court commenced today between the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Community and the Community Support Teams (CSTs) in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. This is the first inter-sitio basketball league in the conflict-affected area in Andap Valley Complex organized by the Sangguniang Kabataan of Diatagon, Diatagon Barangay Local Government Unit, the IP residents and the CSTs composed of the troops from the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn), 41st Civil Military Operations (CMO) Company and the Philippine National Police.
The basketball court was constructed through the efforts of both Kilometer 9 IP residents and the composite Army and PNP personnel being falsely accused by the militant group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang a Sumusunod (MAPASU), a local affiliate of Bayan Muna Partylist represented by Eufemia Campos Cullamat, the sister of Pablito Sinzo Campos, alias Batik, a Communist NPA Terrorist nabbed by the 3SFBn and currently detained in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
“May labanan na nagaganap ngayon sa pagitan ng Army at mga tribo ditto sa KM 9, pero sa basketbolan. Ok Kaayo, “laughingly said by a resident of the sitio.
This is the effect of Martial Law in the IP Communities and this is the fear of anti-government groups and coddler of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs). They fear that their lies and allegations against the military and the President’s Whole-of-Nation Approach would be revealed naturally and that their ideology will become irrelevant enough to make it die a natural death.
“The IP Community is happy with the latest development in their area. Before, they are a bit skeptical about the military’s presence but the sincerity of the government to attain sustainable and genuine peace made this possible”, Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan INF (GSC) PA said.
“Our main advantage and weapon in our quest to end local communist armed conflict is the truth. No matter how many lies and propaganda the CNTs and their allied groups throw at us, truth will always prevail”, COL Allan D Hambala INF (MNSA) PA, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander added.
Meanwhile, 10 teams from neighboring sitios in Andap Valley participated in the league to include residents from Kilometer 16, (Sitio Han-Ayan) in Diatagon where Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), an alleged hub of the CNTs exists.