At least 32 people who claimed to be sympathizers and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in southern Negros Oriental recently took their oath of allegiance to the government during an activity in Barangay Milagrosa, Sta. Catalina town.
The activity, dubbed “Pagpanumpa sa Pagmatinud-anon sa Gobyerno” (oath of faithfulness to government) was held as part of the culmination of the Bayanihan Team activities of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
The oath-taking ceremony was administered by barangay kagawad Jose Santos in the remote hinterland
One of the purported supporters of the NPA, in her testimonial message during the program, called on her fellow residents to support the government. She further encouraged them to bring to end whatever support they are giving to the NPAs so as to prevent them from becoming “victims of the insurgents”.
Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, likewise promoted the essence of Bayanihan to “Win the Peace” to pave the way for development, said Lt. Robillos.
Patrimonio also encouraged all the residents of the said barangay to commit themselves to work as one for the betterment of everybody.
An outreach program was also conducted during the activity which benefited more or less five hundred individuals through different services such as medical consultation, free dental services, circumcision, senior citizens’ ID processing, free haircut, massage, animal vaccination and a feeding program.
Slippers were also distributed to the children courtesy of the Galway Clinic – INGO, an Irish non-government organization.
These activities were made possible through the collaborative efforts of the 79th Infantry (Masaligan) Battalion, the 302nd (Achiever) Brigade, 703rd CDC, LGU- Sta. Catalina, the local barangay officials of Barangay Milagrosa and the volunteer nurses from the Negros Oriental High School Batch ’94.