Military reaffirms support to lumads; pours in infra, other projects in Davao Norte

August 9, 2010 11:58 am 

CAMP FELIX APOLINARIO, Panacan, Davao City, Aug. 9 — The military reaffirmed its support to the lumads or indigenous peoples by pouring in a total of 50 "Kalayaan sa Barangay" projects this year with an allocation of P4 million each.

Speaking to reporters after the closing program of the consultation and creation of the Tribal Council for Security and the Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development held recently at the 1003rd Infantry Brigade in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, Major General Jorge Segovia, commander of the 10th Infantry Division based in Camp Felix Apolinario here, said the projects in form of farm to market roads, school buildings, water system, education, scholarship and leadership training programs for the youths and lumads are aimed improving their way of life in the countryside.

Segovia reiterated that the military solution is not the only approach to solve the insurgency problem.

“The military needs to collaborate with all sectors, including the indigenous communities, in order mitigate the impact of poverty and reduce the influence of the rebels in the countryside,” he said.

He said 33 of these projects are due to be implemented this year in the area of responsibility of the 10th ID.

He observed that though oftentimes, the soldiers provide security during the construction of the projects, it is important that the residents who will directly benefit from the assistance projects will also help protect the projects.

Segovia pointed out that community protection does not mean that civilians need to carry firearms.

“The people only have to make a stand and to make the rebels feel that they are no longer allowed in their communities, and then we are assured that our projects will be protected,” he said.

Segovia also ordered the soldiers to respect the culture of the lumads and uphold their rights at all times.

He also assured logistical support for military units engaging the lumad communities.

"I want the effort to assist the indigenous communities be supported by all units under my command,” Segovia stressed. (PNA) FFC/JSGD/lvp

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