Some 100 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) youth leaders from Palawan gathered Thursday to commit support to the government’s campaign to end the insurgency problem.
The forum was jointly organized by the Pinag-isang Lakas ng mga Kabataang Lider ng Palawan (PIGLAS Palawan), Western Command, Department of Interior and Local Government and the Provincial Government of Palawan.
Highlighting the activity held at a hotel in Puerto Princesa City was the youth leaders’ signing of a manifesto to end terrorism and armed conflict in their respective municipalities.
Under the manifesto, the youth leaders committed “to strongly denounce any form of recruitment for any unconstitutional or illegal activity that may cause fear and harm to the people of Palawan”.
They also vowed to lead in their barangays the passing of resolutions declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as “persona non grata”.
Brigadier General Charlton Sean Gaerlan, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade assigned in Palawan, in a speech urged the youth leaders to “reach out” to their sector to help stop the insurgency from recruiting from among their ranks.
“Fifty years na ang insurgency at marami ng kabataan na nasayang ang future. I encourage everyone to reach out to everyone, tell them. Madalas kayo ang tini-take advantage kaya sana hindi mahila ang ating mga kabataan doon sa paglaban sa gobyerno through armed means,” he said.
Gaerlan also stressed that the government has now put more emphasis on drawing support from other sectors rather than just the military in addressing the problem of insurgency.
“Alam naman natin na ang development and peace ay hindi kaya ng isang sangay ng gobyerno lang. Dati kasi ang AFP ay sinusubukan na i-solve lahat ng problema pero ngayon ang tayo ay looking forward sa tulong ng lahat kasi alam natin na hindi magagawa lahat kung hindi nagtutulungan,” he said.