Military troops in southern Palawan have started to employ music to disseminate peace messages to thwart the recruitment of young people into extremist groups.
Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) commanding officer Lt. Colonel Danilo Facundo said a group of eight soldiers composing the Aim High Band (AHB) recently performed to entertain more or less 600 students of the Palawan State University (PSU) in Narra, southern Palawan on Saturday.
The band show was at the PSU campus during the conclusion of the students’ intramural athletics, he said in an interview on Monday.
After the performance, Captain Wanel Ansa, environment unit and civil military officer of MBLT-4, and Master Sergeant Felinor Yhap, civil military officer non-commissioned officer-in-charge (CMO NCOIC) of Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP), talked to the students and related key messages about peace, Facundo said.
“Music is a language that speaks effectively over human emotions and consciousness. Hence, it can be useful in spreading awareness among the youth against violent extremism to sustain peace and order in Palawan,” Facundo said.
The Marines believe that the Aim High Band can be used not only to entertain but to also pave the way for a relaxing venue where they can talk to young people and respond to their questions about radicalism, especially since they are often targeted for recruitment and mostly fall victims to exploitation by extremists.
Facundo said they started holding little community and campus concerts to be able to conduct peace lectures when they transferred assignment in southern Palawan in March this year.
“It followed after we started implementing a series of focus and civil military operations in Narra, Brooke’s Point, and Bataraza. We will be doing more community music performances to spread peace among the youth, and also their parents and families in the following months,” he said.