Monday, August 14, 2017

403rd Brigade facilitates medical and dental missions among Lumads in Bukidnon

Camp Osito D. Bahian - As part of its commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (IP) and the International Humanitarian Law Month, the 403rd Infantry "Peacemaker" Brigade of the Army's 4th Infantry Division conducted Medical and Dental Civic Action Programs in the IP dominated areas in the province of Bukidnon.

In partnership with Team Jesus-Hearts for Tribes Philippines Incorporated, World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, Local Government Units, 8th Infantry Battalion and 1st Special Forces Battalion, the activities were conducted at Brgy. Zamboanguita, Malaybalay City on August 10, 2017, Brgy. Iba, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon on August 11, 2016, and Brgy. Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon on August 12, 2017.

In totality, some 2,877 local residents and tribesmen benefited  from the free services which include medical consultation, tooth extraction, circumcision, giving of medicines, eye check up, and giving of eye glasses. The World Wildlife Fund-Philippines also gave books about preserving mother nature to the Lumad children, while the soldiers offered free haircut services and porridge feeding.

The activity showcased the 403rd Infantry Brigade's commitment to continuously serve the people, especially the less fortunate, through its partnership with various government and non-government organizations, all in the pursuit for peace.

Meanwhile, COL ERIC C VINOYA INF (GSC) PA, Commander of 403rd Infantry "Peacemaker" Brigade, assured the local residents of Bukidnon that the unit will not only secure the communities from the threats posed by the NPAs and protect the rights of the Lumads, but also continue to facilitate the delivery of basic services to the people to attain peace not only in Bukidnon but also in Misamis Oriental. He also gave his assurance that the soldiers of the Brigade will continue to observe and uphold the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law.

"We assure our people, most especially our Lumad brothers, that we will continue to protect them particularly their right to live peacefully, afar from the threats of intimidation and exploitation of the NPA bandit group and all its cohorts, as well as their equal rights to avail of the services of the government and our NGO partners. We will continue to do this not only in the province of Bukidnon but in the province of Misamis Oriental as well. May this activity also remind our people of our constant and true commitment to observe and uphold the International Humanitarian Law that is aimed at placing the civilians away from harm during armed confrontations," said Colonel Vinoya.

The Lumad communities in Bukidnon continue to become vulnerable targets for the abuses, exploitation and recruitment of the NPA bandit group and other organizations that act as its cohorts. 

Source: 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army

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