Army taps youth as active partner for development, peace in Ilocos

SANTOL, LA UNION – Government troops of the army’s 702nd Infantry Brigade have asked the youths as their active partners for sustaining lasting peace and development in the countryside after a leadership training here.
Brigadier General Henry A Robinson Jr., commander of the army’s 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade, said one of the efficient strategies in advocating peace in the community is the inclusion of the youth sector in the campaign.
“The youths are our future leaders; they have a great role in our society; and they have strong voice when united, which can influence change in our community, our families including our elders,” said Robinson.
From Nov. 16 to 18, a total of 50 students, out of school youths, and community youth leaders participated in the 3-day Regional Youth Leadership Summit (RYLS) held at the All Christian Pavillion and Retreat House in Santol town.
During the summit, the participants learned about the Youth Development Plan, project proposal crafting and Communist CCP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) strategy in recruiting the youth.
The participants, who hailed from the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Pangasinan, and Abra, also experienced the “boodle fight luncheon” to instill the spirit of camaraderie in advocating peace.
Meanwhile, Rolly Rolluda, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of La Union who represented the Guest of Honor and Speaker, Governor Emmanuel Ortega III, thanked the Philippine Army for spearheading the RYLS in collaboration with the local government units.
“The youth is one of the partners of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in fighting the CNTs and the violent extremist groups,” said Rolluda.
Rolluda cited the youths today have strong social media capability and skills that they can use as a platform to pursue and defend peace most especially that the AFP is appealing to all the residents in the countryside to be extra vigilant against the threats of extremism and suspicious people’s activities. Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA-1 / ABN

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