Forty-seven Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Activity Auxiliary (CAA) personnel recently completed a 5-day tactical refresher training course in Barangay Minara, Roxas town.
Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 (MBLT3) commander Lt. Col. Charlie Domingo said the training that ended on Sunday, December was a review of what they have already learned with the addition of some techniques and procedures.
“Ang role ng CAFGU is sila ‘yong primarily geographic sila — integrated community defense and emergency response system, ‘yan ang role nila parang force multiplier namin sa AFP (Armed Force of the Philippines). [Ang role] nila basic patrolling, pag-conduct ng joint checkpoint operations, aid in information collection and reporting, and support sa civil military operations,” Domingo said.
He said they had the refresher course partly due to the establishment of the Provincial Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).
Domingo said as interagency operations intensify, the CAA can help achieve the target of declaring Palawan “insurgency-free”.
“Mas kilala kasi nila ang mga community. Na-declare na kasi ang northern Palawan as communist terrorist group-free, pero syempre, mas intensified ngayon na dapat ‘yong mga communities maging resilient talaga sila. Maging ready talaga sila kasi in case i-turn over sa local government unit ‘yong pag-maintain ng peace and order kasi retooled community support program (RCSP) na nga, sila ang makakatulong ng malaki,” he said.
Another batch of 50 also convened Sunday to complete the refresher training of 97 CAA-1 personnel in Roxas, he said.
The PTF-ELCAC, in a press conference late last week, said the areas of known New People’s Army (NPA) presence in Palawan has been contained in 22 barangays from 69 and all are in southern municipalities.
Western Command (WESCOM) commander Vice Adm. Rene Medina said after working early this year to clear northern Palawan of NPA presence, their target is to southern Palawan by March 31, 2020.
“On the part of the armed forces, we have a target. Ang north is December 31 pero kahit wala pa’yang date na ‘yan, we have declared it as free from the communist terrorist group (CTG). Ang south – dito ang target namin is first quarter of next year. Ibig sabihin March 31. We are hoping na earlier we can accomplish the target,” he said.
He said clearing in the southern area of the province means they have to ensure that the armed and political components of the local insurgent group, as well as its source of funds, are dismantled.