By: April M. Montes-Bravo
SALCEDO, Ilocos Sur, October 26 (PIA) – The 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion-7th Infantry (KAUGNAY) Division of the Philippine Army, in partnership with the local government of Salcedo, led the first Youth Leadership Summit here on October 20-22.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias IV INF (GSC) PA, battalion commander of 81st Infantry Battalion, said the activity is aimed at enhancing the inherent leadership qualities of the youth and promoting patriotism and love of country.
“It also seeks to promote awareness on deceiving issues and activities of lawless groups and organizations particularly the communist coalition of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF), and to prepare the youth to become active responders to any calamities and disasters that may come ahead of them,” he said.
Osias added: “It will not only be us in the Army who will solve the insurgency here in Salcedo, it is you, our youth. You must do your part. Do not be deaf and blind and just be silent for the evil things that are happening around you.”
“Your Army, who is helping you today will eventually go and serve other places who needs us, but you, the youth, you will stay. You will stay here and I hope you will help Salcedo become a better place to live in,” he said.
The Youth Leadership Summit was attended by 73 youth coming from the different barangays of said municipality with most attendees from the conflict villages.
Col. Henry A. Robinson Jr. (MNSA) PA, 702nd Brigade commander, told participants that “leaders are made, not born.”
“In the Army, we do our part in developing our future leaders. As the youth, you can contribute greatly and be a catalyst for change for the peace and security of Salcedo,” Robinson said.
Likewise, MGen Felimon Santos Jr. AFP, commander of 7th Infantry Division said, “It is Important to guide our youth for they are the future shapers and movers of our society.”
Salcedo as one of the priority areas in Ilocos Sur for insurgency had already two recorded gun fights between government troops and NPA rebels since July 2017.
This is also the town where Spartan Troopers recovered several food depots and other rebel’s supplies. (PIA-1, Ilocos Sur)