In a bid to enhance the counterinsurgency efforts of the Philippine government, some indigenous peoples (IPs) who graduated from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Scholarship Program were recommended for a special enlistment in the military.

During their visit to the Army headquarters Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on Monday, the delegates of the Mindanao Peoples Organization (MIPO) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sat down to discuss matters about the scholarship program.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay and MIPO Executive Director Jake Lanes as well as other representatives from IP youth, in a statement, said some of the IPs who graduated were recommended for special enlistment.

“For many years, insurgency, especially in the Mindanao region, boiled up from CPP-NPA’s exploitation of the vulnerabilities of our IP brothers and sisters. We assure you that the Philippine Army plays its role in ending the conflict in support of attaining sustainable peace in the region,” Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said.

The delegates continue to coordinate with the AFP to improve the Executive Order 70 or the Whole of Nation Approach in addressing insurgency.

The EO also led to the birth of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) composed of President Rodrigo Duterte as Chair and the National Defense Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as Vice-Chair along with other government agencies. (PNA)

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