CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 10 -- The 29th Infantry "Matatag" Battalion in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government unit of Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) molded another batch of youth leaders through the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) held at the municipality of RTR, Agusan del Norte.
Richard P. Daquipil, Municipal Mayor of RTR graced the closing ceremony of the three-day YLS event which was attended by 132 youth leaders coming from the three Conflict-Affected Areas (ConAAs) of San Antonio, Tagbungabong and Balang-balang, all from the municipality of RTR.
The YLS aims to level up the leadership skills of the youth for them to effectively work towards peaceful nation-building and fostering a drug-free community, and to develop them to become role models for other youths.
Mary Jane, one of the YLS participants, thanked the organizers for spearheading the said event in their area. "Dako akong pasalamat sa 29IB, PNP ug panggamhanan sa RTR tungod nianing YLS nga ginbuhaton nga siyang mitabang para maabrihan ang among alimpatakan sa kamatuoran nga walay maayong tumong ang NPA sa amo ug sa among barangay ug dili namo pagatugutan pag usab nga malingla nila kami, kahibalo nami sa kamatuoran. (I extend my deepest gratitude to the soldiers of 29IB, PNP and LGU of RTR. Because of this activity, we realized that the NPA will not do any good to us and our barangay. We will no longer allow them to deceive us, for we already know the truth)," she said.
Meanwhile, Bernarditha B. Daquipil, Sangguniang Member of RTR urged the youth to take stand against the NPA. "Dili nato pasagdan nga tangtangon sa mga NPA ang atong prinsipyo dapat magkahiusa ta nga mubarog para batukan ang sakto ug kamaturan. Kamo ang makaawhag sa inyong isig ka kabatan-on nga unta magkahiusa ta para ang kalinaw makab-ot sa atong munisipyo sa RTR. (Let us not allow the NPA to take away our principles, but rather let us all take a stand in upholding that which is good and true. You are the ones who can help encourage other youths to cooperate to attain peace in the municipality of RTR)," she said,
"This YLS activity will help you widen your perception of your role in the community and help you learn how to become strong and productive citizens of your barangay," Mayor Daquipil said to the participants.
Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29IB, also emphasized the importance of the young people in his message, saying "youth, always bear in mind that the greatest wealth and strength of any nation is you. The quality of a nation's youth determines the kind of future the nation will have. And the best and foremost way to strengthen you is to educate you. Not just with any kind of education, but the right kind of education such as this YLS which will equip you in making the right choices and decisions and for you to avoid being deceived by the NPA." (29IB Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)