MATI CITY, Davao Oriental --- The 701st “Kagitingan” Brigade organized a Summit dubbed as PEACE Camp from 20 to 21 November 2015 at Menzi Beach Resort in Mati City, Davao Oriental with the theme: “Panaghiusa alang sa kalinaw ug kalambuan sa Davao Oriental.”
The objectives of the activity are to provide the FRs the identity and belongingness as an organization and to empower them to become the point of convergence of all government agencies in pursuit of peace and development. During the summit, fifty five (55) Former Rebels (FRs) expressed their support in sustaining the peace and development in Davao Oriental.
The participants had undergone a series of lectures, workshops, and fun games. On the first day, lectures regarding the rationale of PeACE were given. FRs physical security, disaster resiliency and roles during disasters were also discussed. On the evening, moral recovery lecture was given by Pastor Ruben Colmo and a group session for values formation was provided by Honorable Delfin Miones, City Councilor of Mati City.
On the second day, participants were taught how to craft an effective livelihood proposal through the Provincial Public Employment Services Office. The event was also graced by Mayor Justina MB Yu of San Isidro, Davao Oriental. She talked about how her municipality supported the endeavors of FRs in their area. They even provided the FRs with livelihood and employment opportunity. On the other hand, Mr. Miguel Trocio also shared opportunities in tourism. During the summit, different fun games and team building activities were facilitated by the Youth for Peace Movement Davao Oriental to break the monotony of a classroom type lectures.
After the lectures the participants took their Oath of Commitment spearheaded by Daniel Con-el of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office signifying their pledge of support to the peace efforts as well as the improvement and growth of their organization. Part of this pledge is the submission of their project proposals to the different LGUs for their livelihood activities.
During the closing ceremony, one of the participants gave his impression on the activity and said “Hugot na panaghihusa ang atong kinahilangnan, pag makita nila ang atong panaghihusa sila mismo ay ganahan na manaog at muuban sa ato para sa pag palambo ng kalinaw (pointing to active NPA members). Ang atong organisasyon ay dakong epekto sa ato tungod sa pag implementar ng mga proyekto para sa kalinaw at kalambuan. Ang summit ay isa ka gagway sa pagbago, isa ka gagway sa pagkahihusa. Ang problema dili masulbad sa isa pa ka problema, dili sa bala, dili sa kumo, kung dili sa pag istorya at pinagsinabtanay. Magtinabangay kita og suportahan ang pagpalig-on ng kalinaw at kalambuan.” (We need unity to show to them that they would be motivated to go down and join us in peace and development, our organization have a great impact because we implement projects for peace and development. This summit is a way of change, a way of unity. The problem cannot be solved with another problem, not with bullets or fists but thru dialogue and understanding. We should help one another in supporting the strengthening of peace and development.)
Likewise, Colonel Bienvenido R. Datuin Jr, Brigade Commander of the 701st “Kagitingan” Brigade said during one of the programs, “The 701st Brigade always puts premium to the welfare of our FR’s. This Summit is intended to empower the FRs to further help them improve their lives. Col Datuin Jr added that, “Christmas is fast approaching and this yuletide season may serve as an invitation and encouragement to active NPA members to go back to the mainstream society.” (4th CMO Coy.,Public Affairs Office, PA AFP)