ORMOC CITY – A Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Peace Forum was held for the SK Federation Presidents of Southern Leyte, which took place in Canigao Island, Matalom, Leyte on July 23 and 24, 2022.

The forum, accordingly, was in connection with the government’s program on Peace, Law Enforcement, Development, and Security (PLEDS) Cluster, Provincial Task Force, and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Southern Leyte Province.

The 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion organized the event, and was attended by 31 SK Federation Presidents, SK Chairpersons, and other SK officials from 18 municipalities in Southern Leyte, led by David N. Labrador, Vice President of said federation.

The activity, it was said, aims to unite the programs and projects of the SK in relation to stopping the communist rebels’ radicalization, recruitment, and organizing the youth that would eventually become supporters or, worse, members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

During the said activity, an orientation pertaining to the communist rebels’ deception and illegal recruitment strategies for the youth was also thoroughly discussed by Arthur ‘Ka Art’ Tariman, the Regional Coordinator, SAMBAYANAN National Cadre Team, while KKDAT and the anti-illegal drugs orientation were discussed by Police Staff Sergeant (PSSg) Lunisa P. Obus of the Police Provincial Office (SLPPO).

The activity also featured former rebels who surrendered to the government now found sharing their testimonies with the youth participants. The activity was also attended by Colonel Noel A. Vestuir (MNSA), PA, the Commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, who said that, “It is good that we see the problem, but it is different kung magiging part tayo ng problem at hindi tayo naging parte ng solusyon.” (By Gwen Maurillo, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)