Friday, October 23, 2020

11 barangays in AgNor, MisOr towns cleared from CNT affectations

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte
– The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion in supervision of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade and in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government units (LGU) of Nasipit and Carmen in Agusan del Norte and the municipality of Magsaysay and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental conducted an Area Clearing Evaluation (ACE) to the eleven (11) barangays which are considered affected by the influence of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) and declared the aforementioned barangays as cleared from CNT affectations on October 22, 2020.

The eleven (11) villages include Aclan in Nasipit; Poblacion and Rojales in Carmen; Kalipay, Kamanikan and Malinao in Gingoog City; Cabalawan, Mindulao, Tinaan, Gumabon and Abunda in Magsaysay town. The ACE process conducted in the said barangays will be validated by the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACVB).

From June 29 to July 01 this year, series of send-off ceremonies for the Community Support Program (CSP) and Community Action (ComAct) teams were conducted by the 23rd IB, the PNP and the LGUs in the above-stated barangays.

The activities were aimed to identify and address the issues exploited by the CNTs that continue to pollute the minds of the populace and persuade them to go against the government.

Pursuant to the guideline set in the Joint Letter Directive No. 3 of the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) and the PNP, a barangay will only be declared as insurgency-free when the parameters are met. 

These considerations include the dismantling of the CPP-NPA politico-military structure; the denial of CPP-NPA access to the area, resources, and manpower and the establishment of a functioning barangay information network and integrated community public safety system, among others.

After a thorough analysis and spontaneous contribution of ideas from the local chief executives (LCEs), Punong Barangays, the PNP, 23IB, and other concerned agencies, ACE chairman Col. Cerilo O. Balaoro Jr., the deputy brigade commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade declared that the subject eleven (11) barangays have passed the parameters set by JLD No. 3, revised version, series of 2020, and can now be considered insurgency-free.

The said barangays have sustained the parameters set as totally free from CNT affectation with an endorsement to the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to be considered as priority barangays for development in 2021 and on succeeding years.

The LCEs in said municipalities have expressed gratitude to the members of the CSP and ComAct teams of the 23rd IB and the PNP for their untiring efforts to clear the subject barangays from CNT affectation.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the acting commanding officer of 23rd IB commended the barangay captains for their full support to the CSP and ComAct teams and to their dedication in fighting the insurgents in their respective localities.

“Insurgency is not only the concern of the Army, but this is the concern of everybody. We will work together with one mission to end the local armed communist in our municipalities,” Paulo said.

He also expressed sympathy to the struggles, fears and other forms of discomforts that the constituents in said barangays have undergone for years due to the presence of the CNTs.

“Sustain your resistance and defiance against these lawless and heartless terrorists and continue to support the democratic government of this country,” Paulo said.

He added that the dismantling of the organs of the communist movement in these barangays will pave the way for the different government interventions, to include infrastructures projects, economic programs and social services.

Col. Balaoro also commended the chief executives and barangay officials for the support they provided in continuing the campaign against insurgency, as they regarded them as the partners of the AFP and the PNP in peace and development works.

“The clearing evaluation process is an important step, not only in clearing these barangays from the influence of the CNTs, but also in the groundwork of allowing development initiatives that have long been hindered by conflicts caused by the presence of these terrorists,” Balaoro said.

He also emphasized that winning the war against insurgency can only be achieved through combined efforts of all sectors and stakeholders.

“We will work with you in your communities not only to address the security and peace concerns but also to assist and facilitate the delivery of government services,” Balaoro said.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 23rd Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Diamond, PA

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