The said teams will be deployed to Barangays Liangan Uno and Basak, all located in Madalum, purposely to rid the said areas of terrorist influence primarily by resolving societal issues that are exploited by terrorists to recruit new members and to maintain their influence.
The teams are also tasked to deter the terrorist from conducting atrocities against the target communities during their deployment.
Madalum Vice Mayor Sultan Usman T. Sarangani Sr. led the sent off through a simple but meaningful ceremony. He said, “I thank the military of today, especially the 55th Infantry Battalion, for being a professional military. I am grateful that they do not only help us eliminate the threat of terrorism, but they also help us develop our communities.”
Meanwhile, LtCol. Franco Raphael H. Alano, commanding officer of the 55th Infantry Battalion thanked the local government unit (LGU) of Madalum for their untiring dedication to attain lasting peace and sustainable development in the municipality.
In his message, he further challenged the Community Support Teams to perform their mandates to the best of their abilities and ensure that the communities that they will be deployed into will not only improve significantly but will also be able to sustain all developmental efforts on their own.
LtCol. Alano also implored the much-needed collaboration of the LGU stressing that peace cannot be attained by the military alone. He further asked the assistance of all those who were present to convince members of the terrorist groups to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law citing that it is never too late to change.
The Community Support Teams are part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Community Support Program which aims to eradicate the influence of terrorist groups in vulnerable communities. The program is being implemented through an interagency approach to address the root causes of terrorism which are societal issues like poverty, lack of education, and limited access to basic services. The end state of the program is to strengthen governance in target areas to a point where local communities can effectively maintain peace and sustain progress on their own. (55th IB/PIA-ICIC)