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PIA Press Release

Military, MNLF, LGU join in Civic Action Day in Basilan

Isabela City, Basilan (22 October) -- While battling terrorism, peace efforts are in the forefront-that is development initiatives that incorporate reforms and investments in education and social services to pave the way to progress.

And true to this mandate-directive, the military in Basilan relentlessly fulfils their constructive role in their area of responsibility as humanitarian assault is now reaching as far as the municipality of Sumisip in Basilan.

In a joint venture with the Municipal Government of Sumisip, the 355th Air Engineering Wing of the Philippine Air Force, the Moro National Liberation Front, and the sector representatives, the Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 lead in the inauguration of Sapah Bulak Elementary School, the inauguration of the Civic Center in Tumajubong, and the GEM Project Ocular Inspection at Brgy Guiong on 16 Oct '07.

With the three activities in one day, stakeholders marked October 16 as Sumisip Civic Action Day, a reminder that switched on the government's prompt response to people's basic needs, making the three barangays as heirs of these CIVAC projects.

BGen Juancho M Sabban, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Thunder said that the military is grateful for the full support extended by the Municipal Government of Sumisip, the assistance of the Moro National Liberation Front, and the cooperation of the residents.

"By working hand-in-hand, it is not only the security of the residents that is being protected and upheld, but developmental programs intended for these areas are also promptly being delivered," the Commander stressed.

On the other hand, Sumisip Mayor Habir Asarul said that beyond combat acumen to maintain peaceful environment, the military, to a great extent, has been providing civic assistance, which definitely effect better rapport between the military and the civilians in the municipality.

"We should be proud of our military. Despite the existence of security threats and concerns, our soldiers are still attentive to act in response to the people's basic needs. For this reason, the municipal officials are further urged to work harder and unite more for the best interest of all," Mayor Asarul said. As a matter of fact, there is a joint resolution "MILF/ASG Free Sumisip", which was approved last 11 Sept 2007.

Moreover, MNLF Commander Muslahil Lain said that CIVAC activities are helpful contributions to the stability and growth of Sumisip, also stressing on the importance of teamwork in winning the war against poverty, illiteracy, and criminality.

He added that regardless of individual differences, all of us are Filipinos under one flag: who must help each other in nation building. With the inauguration of an elementary school, it is also the conception of their children's dreams, which will certainly turn into reality through unity.

Notably, residents recognized and appreciated the military's sincere commitment to help uplift their lives as they clamor for soldiers to stay in their communities.

DepEd's Sumisip East District Supervisor Jamaldin expressed gratitude towards the union of labours among the military, municipal government, residents, and the MNLF in giving value to children's education.

"Mas gusto namin na andito ang mga sundalo. Masaya po kami kasi tinutulungan nila kami. (We prefer the soldiers to be here. We are happy because they are helping us)," one of the elementary students said.

B/Gen Sabban commends the soldiers for jobs well done; however, he said, "the jobs remain to be a continuous course of action as there are still many tasks left to be completed. This is just the beginning". (4CRG-AFP/PIA-BASULTA) [top]

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