ILOILO City – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) on Wednesday clarified that its community support team deployment is not meant to “militarize” villages.
Lieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, commander of the 61 Infantry Brigade, said the teams underwent preparations before they were deployed in their respective areas in a press conference at Camp Delgado here.
He assured that the massive “pulong-pulong” or talks in the community facilitated by the Community Support Program teams are under the supervision of the 301st Infantry Brigade (IB). The 61st IB is under the operational jurisdiction of the 301st IB.
“There is no such thing as militarization. If there is Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army issue with us is militarization,” said Captain Ruel Llanes Civil-Military Operation officer of the 301st Infantry Brigade.
Llanes said the CSP teams are meant to hear the sentiments and issues being faced by the people in the villages.
He assured that entering the houses of the people in the village to hear their issues are being done with the permission of the homeowners.
“We do not persist if we do not have their permission,” he said.
The CSP teams are also very mobile and are prohibited to live in the houses of the people in the village unless they were given permission.
Llanes said they are always within the vicinity of the village and can “camp in an area in the barangay given the permission of the village chief.” (With a report from PNA/PN)