Army conducts security awareness drive to students of Butuan City

BUTUAN CITY, July 12 -- The 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army recently conducted a security awareness drive to selected senior high school students of Butuan City held at the 402nd Brigade Headquarters, Brgy. Bancasi, Butuan City.

In line with the Project S.U.R.O.Y. (Simple Unwinding and Recreational Outing for the Youth) spearheaded by Butuan City Police Office (BCPO), personnel of 402nd Brigade led by Civil Military Operations Officer Major Francisco P. Garello, Jr. conducted a security awareness drive to 35 senior high school students coming from Barangays San Mateo, Nong-Nong and Tungao, all of Butuan City.

“The army recognizes its duty to inform the youth about the nature of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorists or CNTs and their deceptive and manipulative recruitment strategy. Our youth is one of the most vulnerable sector in our society and we must protect them from being used as pawns by the CPP-NPA-NDF against our government troops,” Garello said.

Likewise, the senior high school students were educated through a static display of the Infantry Brigade squad and a film showing highlighting the different facets of being a soldier.

They were also given lecture on how to join the Philippine Army and its recruitment process.

The baranagays of San Mateo, Nong-Nong and Tungao were identified as CNT-affected areas but have withdrawn their support through their declaration of the CNTs and its allied left-leaning groups as persona non grata in their respective barangays.

According to Col. Maurito L. Licudine, commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, the youth is the hope of tomorrow and we are pleased that in partnership with the PNP we were able to reach out to this group of young people so that they will not be easily swayed by the sweet talking of the CNTs.

"The youth must be wary of those who exploit their youthful idealism, agitating them with the social problems of our country and dragging them into the armed struggle. It is right to take active part in looking for peaceful solutions but it is not right to bear arms to solve these problems,” he said.

Licudine is appealing to the CNTs to spare the children from their violent way of life. “Give them a chance to grow up; a chance to achieve their aspirations; and be successful in life.

"As for the CNTs, heed our call to surrender, avail the E-CLIP and live peacefully with your families and love ones,” urged Licudine. (402nd Infantry Brigade/PIA-Caraga)

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