From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2019): Army molds Southern Tagalog’s youth into peace builders
LEADERS’ SUMMIT. The Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) and other government agencies gathered around 42 youth leaders from the Southern Tagalog region for the two-day 7th Regional Youth Leadership Summit (RYLS) as part of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) “October Peace” at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal from Oct. 5 to 6. The event aims to transform them into “peacebuilders” and “catalysts for development” while enhancing their awareness to insulate them from deceptions and recruitment by the New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless elements. (Photos courtesy of 2ID-DPAO)
CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Around 42 youth leaders from the Southern Tagalog region have completed their two-day 7th Regional Youth Leadership Summit (RYLS) as part of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) “October Peace” celebration at this camp.
Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., 2ID Commander, told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that the leadership summit aims to transform the youth into “peacebuilders” and “catalysts for development” while enhancing their awareness to insulate them from deceptions and recruitment by the New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless elements. “This noble undertaking initiated by the 2ID seeks to insulate our future leaders from the NPA terrorists as well as other lawless elements and empower them to become the best leaders which our beloved motherland and countrymen truly deserve,” Burgos said.
He also assured that the Army’s 2ID here will continue to lead the awareness drive to educate the people to “build the youth for our country’s future.”
“We will continue to pursue our genuine desire to empower these young people to be active in every way they can so that they may contribute positively towards attaining our common aspirations of winning the peace which is now within our reach,” he added.
Youth leaders thanked the facilitators and organizers “for the once in a lifetime experience and for fanning the embers of idealism and patriotism in our hearts.”
“We are Filipinos and we will give our all for the Filipinos,” one of the youth leaders said.
Among the speakers during the event on Oct. 5 to 6 were Relissa S. Lucena, of the cause-oriented group #HandsOffOurChildren, who shared a mother’s experience of nearly losing her daughter to the communist movement.
Lucena narrated to some 24 female and 18 male youth leaders, aged 15 to 25, the awful experiences of mothers whose sons and daughters were recruited by the NPAs.
A youth participant who was moved by Lucena’s ordeal described “theirs was a heartbreaking story which no parent ever deserve.”
Al Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan also inspired the millennial participants with her own experience and advised some approaches to overcome life’s challenges and set out determined goals to move on in life’s journey.
“Go outside of yourself, do something for our country,” Alindogan said, urging the millennial leaders to be good in their quest to serve because “nothing is worth more than dignity.”
Besides the 2ID’s information, education and communication (IEC) campaign to shun from NPA deceptions, the leadership summit also served as a venue for future leaders to establish links with their respective local government units (LGUs).
Summit participants were also encouraged to develop a better appreciation and understanding of participative governance and productive community engagements that redound to benefit them and their localities.
Meanwhile, Laguna Provincial Peace and Order Officer Maricar Palacol lauded the 2ID for spearheading the summit and “for continuously supporting the young generation by instilling the spirit of patriotism, nationalism and social responsibility.”
Palacol also assured the Laguna provincial government’s pledge to support youth programs that will contribute toward peace and development not only in the province but also for the entire country.
“The youth plays an integral part in society. They need to be armored with enthusiasm and courage to become great leaders of our country,” she said.