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Monday, January 30, 2017

4ID bares peace, security efforts

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 30 (PIA) – On the onset of calendar year 2017, the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (4ID, PA) apprised the Caraga Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) of its accomplishments, including the peace and security initiatives to address the insurgency and terrorism threat within Caraga region.

Based on their record for the fourth quarter of 2016, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – New People’s Army (NPA) has decreased in manpower. “This is a result of our effort of convincing former rebels to return to the folds of the law. Their firearms also reduced and affected barangays dropped by 19 percent, while no changes in the number of guerilla front committees,” revealed Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, 4th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion commanding officer in his report representing 4ID commander MGen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr.

Accordingly, the local terrorist groups were monitored merging and planning to initiate violence to gain the attention of foreign terrorists and acquire fund support. The monitored bomb threat targeting the major cities in Mindanao could not be discounted as the key personalities remain at large.

“With this, continued endeavors to thwart the radical armed rebels threating in the areas of responsibilities are intensified,” said Pasco.

In support also to the anti-illegal drug campaign, several joint operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) resulted in the confiscation of shabu and marijuana worth P28,824,741 and neutralization of 590 drug personalities. “Majority of the volume of prohibited drugs confiscated were in Agusan del Sur,” said Pasco.

To ensure also a healthy and drug-free organization, 2,635 personnel of the 4ID underwent a drug test, wherein those who were found positive were discharged from the service.

Also, they invited the PDEA for an information briefing to further enhance the awareness of unit commanders relative to the extent of proliferation of illegal drug trade in the area of responsibility.

A law enforcement trainers’ training was also conducted at the 4ID headquarters to improve more the capabilities of units in doing support activities pertaining to law enforcement.

On the other hand, in collaboration with the provincial local government unit of Agusan del Sur, the 401st Brigade has established a Drug Rehabilitation Center at its headquarter in Brgy. Awa, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

“As to anti-illegal logging operations, there were 136,972.10 board feet of assorted lumber products confiscated,” added Pasco.

Meanwhile, MGen. Madrigal extended his gratitude to the partner stakeholders and the public for their dynamic cooperation. “With our commitment to defend our people and country from those against our government and the law of our land, I am likewise encouraging everyone to continue the peacebuilding efforts to strengthen the AFP’s work to promote peace and development. We can all be an agent of change, a change tantamount to a harmonious community living in prosperity,” underscored MGen. Madrigal. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)

DOLE releases P2.5M livelihood projects to SurSur town

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 30 (PIA) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) - Caraga Region released a P2.5 Million worth of livelihood financial assistance to the local government unit of Hinatuan this province on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.

The said amount was received by Hinatuan Mayor Shem Garay intended for the five projects of the informal sector workers associations of the municipality.

Mayor Garay thanked the agency for granting his request to facilitate for an orientation to all beneficiaries of the livelihood projects before the release of the financial funds to five associations.

“I really requested DOLE to orient all the beneficiaries to make it sure that the funds will really serve the need of the organization not just the president and officers of the association but all the members,” Garay said.

Mayor Garay emphasized to the beneficiaries that the government fund, though it is a dole-out, must be taken care of by the association since all of these funds came from the taxes of the Filipino people. (With a report from Romelyn Bactol, DOLE/PIA-Surigao del Sur)