CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, July 23 – The 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion (29IB), 13th Regional Maneuver Forces Battalion, 1st Special Action Force Battalion and the Local Government Unit of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR), Agusan del Norte facilitated the joint Send-off Ceremony of Community Support Team (CST), held during the Flag Raising Ceremony at RTR Municipality on July 22, 2019.

The CSP is a community and issue oriented AFP operational concept employed in conflict affected areas. It is a multi-stakeholder community based, people oriented, peace and development effort to establish and develop disaster and conflict resilient communities, stable community livelihood programs and a strong community defense and security. It also offers the proficiencies in the disaster preparedness, environment protection, infrastructure projects and in coordination of the LGUs, support to anti-illegal drugs and anti-criminality campaigns, local leaders’ competency development, youth leaders’ programs and IP empowerment.

The Send-off Ceremony is an activity symbolizing that the Army, PNP and LGU and other stakeholders are one in achieving peace and development as well as sustainability and resiliency in the area. The CSP team will be deployed in the eight conflict affected barangays in the municipality of RTR, Cabadbaran City and Butuan City under the operational jurisdiction of 29IB.

The CSP teams will conduct dialogues with the residents in order to determine the prevailing issues and concerns of the communities that are needed to be addressed by the concerned agencies and Local Government Units.

Hon. Richard P. Daquipil, Municipal Mayor of RTR said “Magtinabangay ta, labi na sa mga barangay na naapektohan gyud niining problemaha, gihangyo nako ang tagsa-tagsa ka barangay na motabang ug mo koopera sa atong mga kasundaluhan ug sa kapulisan kay dili kini masulbad kung sila ra. (Let’s help one another, especially those who are in affected barangay. I urged you to help and cooperate with our military and police for they cannot solve it alone.)

”Moreover, Governor Dale B. Corvera of Agusan del Norte said, “Ang solusyon niini nga problima ang hiniusa nga lihok, dili lamang sa kasundaluhan ug kapulisan, kun dili lihok sa tanang lumulopyo sa atong nasod. (The solution for this problem is the combined efforts, not only of the military and police, but also of every citizen of this country.)

” Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste Commander of 29IB said that, “In this send-off ceremony, we are not sending our men to war, we are sending them off to conduct peace and development mission.”

“The CSP is not a pure military operation. This is just the tip of the arrow of the governments of the whole-of-nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict. The deployment of CSTs is one way of bringing the government closer to the people particularly in the conflict affected areas where government services infrequently reach and or hardly felt by our people,” Criste ended.