23IB Fully Supports Moves to Empower IP Communities in AgNor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) extended its full support to the programs and services of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) in empowering the Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities in Agusan del Norte.

On Friday, June 11, 2021, the 23IB joined NCIP Chairman, Secretary Allen Capuyan and NCIP Caraga Regional Director Marlon Bosantog during their visit to the IP communities in Sitio Balataan, Barangay Camagong, Nasipit, Agusa del Norte.

23IB Commander, Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo personally accompanied the two NCIP officials during the visit that aimed to gather the pressing issues and concerns of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in the area, especially on their ancestral domains. The visit also facilitated the dialogue between the Local Government Units’ (LGUs) officials, the ICCs, and the tribal leaders on the access to government programs and services.

Sec. Capuyan lauded the support, dedication and continuing contributions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the development of the IP communities and in maintaining peace and security in the municipality of Nasipit. He also emphasized the importance of protecting and promoting the interest of ICCs and the IPs anchored in the four (4) bundles of IP rights stipulated in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997.

During the dialogue, Lt. Col. Paulo recognized the cooperation and support of the ICCs and the IP leaders to the government.

“The exploitations and harassments done by the communist terrorists in IP communities, especially in their ancestral domains had reduced due to the cooperation made by the IP leaders and their communities in Agusan del Norte to the government and the 23IB,” Paulo said.

He added that the efforts of the IP leaders created a great impact in the unified efforts to dismantle the remaining forces of the New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents in the province.

“The IP leaders and their communities here in Agusan del Norte have fully realized the manipulations and other forms of exploitations that the NPA terrorists have done to them in almost five decades,” Paulo said.

The 23IB troopers, he added, will double its efforts to strengthen the ICCs in Agusan del Norte, by supporting the different development interventions and initiatives of the LGUs and the agencies of the government.

“We will increase twofold our campaigns and operations to build great walls against these NPA terrorists and thwart their efforts to regroup and recover. We will work hand-in-hand with the IP leaders and communities to finally end the terrors that these NPA insurgents have been sowing for years. Together, we can completely dismantle them so that we, especially our children, can live harmoniously in our communities,” Paulo said.

He added that the 23IB will also help in bridging the gaps and in the resolution of issues and concerns to facilitate the access of development interventions in the IP communities in Agusan del Norte.

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