From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 13, 2020): Army vows to ‘shield’ Caraga youths from NPA recruitment (By Alexander Lopez)
YOUTH POWER. Engr. Christian Kier M. Betito, vice president POINTY, Inc. Philippines (right) sworn in the newly elected officers of POINTY, Inc. Butuan City chapter during the gathering of youth leaders on Sunday (Jan. 12, 2020) at the headquarters of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina, Jr., 23IB commander, vows to shield the youth from the influence of communist rebels. (Photo courtesy of Glymer Jamito)
BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- An Army official has vowed to help strengthen youth groups in the Caraga Region to keep them away from the influence of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).
In a gathering of around 30 youth leaders from different barangays here on Sunday (January 12), Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina Jr. of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion urged the members of the Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through our Youth (POINTY), Inc. to unite and win more youths in the region "to protect them from recruitment of the NPA."
“Our aim is to insulate the youth from the influence of the CPP-NPA,” Molina said, as he also pledged support to the programs and projects of POINTY, Inc., a non-profit youth organization.
Molina also shared the various schemes that the CPP-NPA utilizes to lure young people into joining the communist rebel movement.
The gathering of youth leaders on Sunday was also in time with the election of the new officers of POINTY, Inc.-Butuan for the year 2020.
The elected officers include Harold Fabiana Sarsale from Barangay Taguibo as president, Trisha Jede Rojo Entero from Pianing as vice president, Rizzamae Pepito from Barangay Anticala as secretary, Jemmalyn Burca Moncada from Barangay Bitan-agan as treasurer, and Diyana Toledo from Barangay De Oro as the auditor.
Youth leaders Wendell Mejas from Barangay Taligaman and April Rose Lofranco from Barangay Bitan-agan were also elected as information officers of POINTY-Butuan.
1Lt. Roel Maglalang, 23IB civil-military operations officer, said the strengthening of local youth organizations is among the priorities of the battalion within its area of operation.
Maglalang also underscored the role of the youth as partners in the community development efforts of the government.
Meanwhile, the national officers and the members of the Board of Trustees of POINTY, Inc. also conducted their first quarter meeting last Saturday in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
In a statement sent to PNA on Sunday, the group said the activity was focused on the review and amendment of some provisions of its constitution and by-laws in preparation for the transformation of POINTY, Inc. into an institutionalized non-government organization (NGO).
The gathering was graced by Col. Allan D. Hambala, the commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade of the Army.
In his message, Hambala challenged the youth leaders to engage in "peaceful nation-building."
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is thankful for your service as volunteers helping the institution to achieve its goals in its areas of responsibility,” Hambala said.