caraga region

CNT Surrenderees receive financial aid amid COVID-19 in Surigao Town

April 13, 2020

Surigao Del Sur yesterday. The awarding held in municipal hall was led by San Miguel Mayor Hazel H. Elizalde with Captain Julius James A. Gabaran, Commanding Officer of 7th Special Forces “Spartans” Company, 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion (3SFBn). Mayor Elizalde urged the surrenderees, who are also San Miguel’s constituents, not to put to waste the government’s support for them and not to go back to in the CNTs’ useless and pointless violent armed struggle that ruined their lives and families. The surrenderees, who belonged to the weakened guerilla front19, decry hunger, corruption of terrorist leaders, violence and the ruthless killings of the CNTs to defenseless and innocent civilians who go against their ways as the reasons for their surrender. This cash aid from the LGU will greatly help them in this time of crisis where employment and economic activity is severely affected due to regional lockdowns and enhanced quarantine control measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The 3SFBn Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan (INF) PA expressed his gratitude for the all-out support of the San Miguel LGU in advocating the peaceful surrender through this kind of cash-aid program as a reward for those who chooses the path to peace. The Surigao Del Sur Province has declared the Communist NPA Terrorist personalities as persona-non-grata including the Municipality of San Miguel and its barangays. The declaration of persona non-grata greatly affected the CNTs as many informants pointed out the whereabouts of CNT personalities who fell behind bars through AFP-PNP law enforcement support operations. The AFP-PNP vows to implement more law enforcement operations despite COVID-19 crisis to further prevent criminal and CNTs’ terror attacks in their respective areas of responsibility.

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Village councilwoman cooks vegetable to quarantined neighnorhood

April 12, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur--- Instead of canned goods and instant noodles as relief packs for Covid-19 quarantined villagers, a barangay kagawad (village councilwoman) in Prosperidad town have been distributing healthy cooked vegetables she and her cousins delivered in every home since April 8. Barangay Kagawad Joan Martensen Borja, in the village of New Maug was moved upon seeing many of her neighbors eating only ginamos (fermented anchovies) as their viands that drove her to cook the popular law-oy (vegetable stew)  equally packed in cellophane bags and shared it to some 100 households on the first day of their relief mission. The idea of giving away cooked vegetables flicked on her mind when she saw two young girls selling squash, string beans and eggplants passed her house and bought all the produce amounting to P500. “I was a bit bored staying at home for days when the two girls came peddling vegetables harvested by their father who is a peasant of a small farm,” said the good-looking and jolly village councilwoman who was elected in 2018. With the help of her male cousins and neighbors, Borja cooked ginataang gulay ( vegetable dish cooked with coconut milk) on the second day of their food relief efforts covering another 100 homes of Purok 2. Her good deeds draw the attention of a nurse of a government hospital who saw her photos on her Facebook page and offered to donate a van load of vegetables from Esperanza town so she could continue her food sharing initiative. On Saturday, the vegetables promised by the donor came and it was aplenty that it could last for three days. The nurse asked not to be identified and requested her to pixelate his face if ever she would post the photos in the social media. If she had her way, Borja wanted to continue distributing the vegetable dishes until the Covid-19 crisis will be over but that will depend when she still can afford on her budget and more good Samaritans will help in her modest project. Borja has been on online business getting brisk sales which subsided at the height of the Covid outbreak.

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Chowking, Army Serve Meals to Frontliners in Butuan City

April 11, 2020

Bancasi, Butuan City – As the COVID 19 pandemic continues, another Fastfood Chain giant, Chowking restaurant, in partnership with 402nd Infantry Brigade extended Bayanihan efforts and facilitated the distribution of meals to the frontliners at the Exit and Entry Quarantine Control Points (QCPs) in Butuan City on April 9, 2020. Recognizing the heroism and sacrifice of the frontliners, fastfood giant Chowking, owned by Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) reached out to the frontliners and facilitated the distribution of one-hundred twenty (120) lunch time meals at the QCPs in Brgy’s Pigdaulan, Bit-os and Bancasi all of Butuan City. Said effort is part of the restaurant’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially in this time of crisis wherein frontliners sacrificed and devoted their efforts to ensure that the COVID 19 pandemic will be contained. Ms. Jenn Hyacint Claro, Chowking’s Area Manager in Butuan City said, “JFC through Jollibee Group of Foundation’s Food AID Program has been closely coordinating with public and private organizations for an efficient distribution system of the food products to frontliners. Our frontliners are our real modern-day heroes during this time of a pandemic. It is unfortunate that many of them have little time to rest”. “The Jollibee Group is one with them in this fight and we hope that through our food support, we can fuel their heroic efforts. We are more than grateful for what they are doing for our countrymen. We thank our COVID Frontliners from the bottom of our hearts”, She ended. It can be recalled that fast food chain Jollibee which is also owned by JFC extended its hands to the frontliners and had been distributing its signature Chicken Joy meal to the frontliners composed of personnel from DOH, PNP, BFP, Army troopers coming from 23IB and 29IB under the operational control of 402nd Brigade and reservist volunteers from 15th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG) of the Army Reserve Command stationed at the exit and entry QCPs in Brgys Sumilihon, Antongalon and Bancasi of Butuan City. Meanwhile, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade in his statement said, “We are in awe of the support that our frontliners are receiving right now. Marami ng nagpaabot ng tulong at nagpapasalamat kami sa kanilang tiwala. Sa panahon ng ganitong sakuna, kailangan talaga natin ang suporta ng bawat isa. Indeed, in unity there is strength. The act of kindness and unconditional support from benevolent individuals and groups made our frontliner’s job lighter and boosted their morale to continue to perform their tasks to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Bayugan City, Army to aid 26,000 households in COVID-19 fight

April 11, 2020

Bayugan City, Agusan Del Sur – The Bayugan City Local Government Unit’s COVID-19 Task Force led by Hon. Mayor Kirk A. Asis started the city-wide aid to support its 26,000 households in 43 barangays by providing a full sack of rice for every household in the hinterlands and cash assistance for constituents settling in the urban areas of the city. The relief operation from April 7 to date already reached 13 out of 43 barangays---Taglibas, San Agustin, Montevista, Verdu, Sagmone, Katipunan, Marcelina, San Isidro, Bucac, Charito, Gamao, Saguma and Salvacion. The relief will continue until April 14. The COVID-19 Task Force is composed of the LGU Officials and Staffs, Social and Medical field frontliners from the city to barangay level, the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion, Philippine National Police and other uniformed personnel, and volunteer civil society groups working together to provide the quality support system in this fight against COVID-19. The City Mayor said that he cannot afford to give its constituents less than what they deserve that is why Bayugan City will provide full sack of rice initially and cash assistance. “If this will not be enough for the whole duration of the localized quarantine, we will find a way to sustain our people, “Mayor Asis, said. “We will provide 1 full sack of rice to every household living in the rural areas while cash assistance will be provided in the urban barangays of Taglatawan and Poblacion. We provided cash to the urban barangays because we intend to keep the economic flow and activity in the city’s essential market establishments,” the Mayor, added. An estimated total of 27,000 sacks of rice were procured by the city from its homegrown and local farmers to feed the constituents and a free vegetable delivery service will also be mobilized in the urban area to provide food to the residents. “This will provide enough food for all while helping the city’s farmers to earn amid the crisis,” the mayor exclaimed.   Bayugan City aims to maintain a zero COVID-19 positive case that is why a 24/7 Emergency Operations Center is established in its City Hall to monitor the strict implementation of the border lockdowns to protect the city from the virus. Meanwhile, the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion lauds the decisive, strategic and legal binding approaches of the City to maintain its economic activity and sustain its constituents amid the world and nation-wide pandemic ad vows to provide the necessary support in protecting the frontliners who deliver the basic services and the goods for the public. 

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Army Geared up Backyard Gardening Expertise for Food Sufficiency as COVID19 Crisis Continues

April 7, 2020

Bancasi, Butuan City – The troops of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade led by Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine taking cognizance of the COVID19 pandemic crisis utilized their expertise on Backyard Vegetable Gardening this morning, April 6, 2020 at its Headquarters Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City to sustain food sufficiency as the pandemic continues.  Equipped with boots and gloves and armed with bolos, rakes and shovels, the Stingers troopers initiated a backyard vegetable gardening utilizing more than one (1) hectare of the unused portion of the camp to anticipate and combat the scarcity of food amidst the COVID19 crisis.  In partnership with generous individuals and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga, the 402nd Brigade was provided with vegetable seedlings and started the land preparation for its backyard gardening as one of the efforts to ensure food security of soldiers who are part of the frontliners in support to the DOH and PNP to address the COVID19 Pandemic.  Sergeant Eduardo C Cenabre, one of the Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Brigade stressed his enthusiasm about planting vegetables as part of the individual soldier’s contribution to ease the problem and taking the situation positively.   “While naa kami sa SOMO karon because of the ceasefire og kining atung gisagubang nga COVID19, amo kining gihimo nga magtanum og gulay arun usa ka lakang alang sa pag-antisipar nga anaa tay makuhaan og pagkaon kun mudugay pa kining krisis. Kini pud usa ka pamaagi sa among padayon nga ehersisyo arun andam kami pirmi sa pagresponde kun kami kinahanglanon arun suportahan ang mga ahensya nga gimandoan nga manguna alang sa pagpugong sa pagkuyanap sa COVID19”. Sgt Cenabre said in the vernacular.  Likewise, the 402nd Brigade had already directed the four (4) Battalions under its operational control covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands to include parts of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur to include tenant units inside Bancasi Military Reservation (BMR) to conduct backyard vegetable gardening and initiate other contingencies to ensure food security of all troops as part of their operational readiness if called upon to even intensify support to combat the COVID19 Pandemic.  In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said, "Our troops shall be ready when we are called upon. We must anticipate the worst-case scenario and prepare for whatever possibilities that may arise. Our mindset is to become ready physically and mentally. This endeavor, the vegetable gardening, is part of our contingencies to promote preparedness and intensify situational awareness to our troops”.  “Traditionally armed with rifles and deadly weapons, now we fortified ourselves with gardening equipment to combat not the CPP-NPA-NDF but ensure food sustainability and security. Though we have deployed a number of our troops, most of us are still on standby alert. We are taking this opportunity and time to prepare and plan. We become experts not only on warfighting as our core purpose but also in ensuring food security thus this vegetable gardening initiative", Brigadier General Licudine added.

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Army Commander in Caraga Inspects IATF-MEID Control Points; Distributes PPE to AFP-PNP Frontliners

April 5, 2020

Bancasi, Butuan City – Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade based in Bancasi, Butuan City inspected the government troops supporting the PNP and DOH at the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease Quarantine Control Points in Butuan City on 30 – 31 March 2020.  The 402nd Brigade whose area of responsibility covers the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, 1st District of Surigao del Sur and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur and Magsaysay and some barangays of Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental deployed  over five hundred (500) troops in more than fifty (50) Control Points to be one of the frontliners supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Health (DOH) personnel while other troops are on standby and ready for deployment in case of any eventualities that may arise in line with the implementation of IATF-MEID guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic in Caraga region.  BGen Licudine’s visit and inspection aims to ensure the proper and strict implementation of the protocols and guidelines at the Quarantine Control Points in the region as dictated by the Regional Task Force for COVID 19 “One Caraga Shield”. Likewise, 402nd Infantry Brigade Commander distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face shield and face masks and surgical gloves to the AFP and PNP personnel to guarantee the protection of the frontliners.  He said, “We cannot afford that our frontliners particularly the AFP-PNP personnel to be infected because we in the security sector could be the last line of defense to contain the outbreak if this persists much longer.”  It can be recalled that the JTF-CV Caraga Shield composed of AFP-PNP-PCG-BFP was formally activated last March 18, 2020, to address the interoperability mechanism of the four agencies in the implementation of the IATF-MEID guidelines and protocols. Hence, the role of the AFP and PNP is equally vital to contain the spread of the COVID-19.  “All frontliners must ensure that they strictly implement the protocols and, as leaders, we must supervise our personnel and monitor them so that they too will be protected. Hence, we laud the Caraga leaders in its prompt action to harmonize the guidelines among the provinces in the Caraga region activating the Regional Task Force for COVID-10 “One Caraga Shield” to address the COVID-19 threat. Rest assured that your Army will not waver on its commitment to ensure the safety and security of all Caraganons amidst this COVID-19 crisis.

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