(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 16 July 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 310 km East Northeast of Davao City (8.3°N, 128.2°E). Southwest Monsoon affecting the western sections of Southern Luzon and Mindanao. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to LPA. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Friday, 22 December 2023

Christmas party celebrates return of over 500 former rebels to their communities in Agusan del Norte

BUTUAN CITY --  Over 500  communist rebels who returned to the fold of the law recently joined their families and friends in a Christmas party organized to also mark their reintegration into their community in Barangay Caasinan, in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte.

Lt.Col. Cresencio C. Gargar, commanding officer of the 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion of the Philippine Army, said,  “The FRs Christmas gathering became a vibrant platform for the community to reunite, as this fostered goodwill for the spirit of the holiday season.”

“This type of gathering is something that they did not experience when they were hiding in the mountains. You can see in their smiles and laughter that echoed in the place with their families. We are celebrating this with them so they can feel the essence of Christmas,” Gargar said.

FR refers to “friends rescued,” a toned-down reference to former communist rebels who availed of the government’s offer for them to lay down their arms. 

Friends rescued participated well in the Christmas party as they showed their best dance move and groove. (Photo courtesy to 29IB)

Inday, an FR, said it’s been a long time since she last celebrated Christmas with her family. She recalled that in the years she was with the communist movement, Christmas was just an ordinary day in the mountains.

“Sa dugayng panahon nakalimot nami unsa ang Christmas sa bukid, karon napod nako nasinati kung unsa kalipay nga magsaulog ug Pasko uban ang akong mahal sa kinabuhi, ang akong pamilya (It’s been a long time that we forgot Christmas in the hinterlands. It’s the only now that I have experienced celebrating the Christmas season with my family),” she said.

The merrymaking was attended by Agusan del Norte Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante, who also chairs the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).

The governor emphasized to the government troops and partner agencies the importance of inclusivity and support for the FRs who chose the path of peace.

“Hangyo lang gyud nako tagsa-tagsa sa inyo, niuban naman gyud ta balik sa gobyerno ayaw na intawon ninyo biyai ang gobyerno. Kamo na akong gisaligan nga proteksyonan ang atong komunidad nga wala na silay (NPA) laing pang matunto” (I am appealing to each one of you, now that you have returned to the folds of the law, to not abandon the government again. I trust you to protect our community so they (NPA) can no longer deceive anyone).”

“The event did not only mark a holiday celebration but also a significant chapter in the ongoing journey towards unity, understanding, and peaceful coexistence. It also served as a testament to the resilience of the community, symbolizing a collective step toward a brighter and more harmonious future,” 1Lt. Jade Bryce BuΓ±e civil military operation officer 29IB  said. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)