The Eastern Mindanao Command joined around 350 soldiers and other stakeholders during a fun run in Paquibato on Saturday as part of the anniversary celebration of Peace 911.
The activity was led by EastMinCom chief, Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., together with the division and brigade commanders such as Maj Gen. Jose Faustino Jr, commander of 10th Infantry Division; Col. Nolasco Mempin, commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade; and Brig Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., former commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, the current deputy commander of EastMinCom.
Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the EastMinCom spokesperson, said the fun run and trekking allowed participants to also see the tourists spots in Paquibato Districts, particularly in barangays Paquibato Proper, Malabog, Pañalum, Mabuhay, Paradise Embac and Lumiad.
During the celebration, Mayor Sara Duterte also awarded P1.985 million worth of livelihood project to 14 former rebels from Paquibato District, and formally announced the expansion of Peace 911 to 18 more Barangays of Davao City formerly affected by communist armed conflict.
This was followed by the commitment of stakeholders to sustain the gains of peace as they promised to help bring development in Paquibato.
Paquibato, which has been a conflict-affected area for many years, was the guerilla base of the New People’s Army in Davao City. It was declared conflict-free last year, paving the way for the implementation of the Peace 911.
It can be recalled that, Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, was killed in an encounter in the said area in 2015. In the last week of April 2019, the community tipped soldiers off regarding an arms cache in the area that yielded 22 firearms of the NPA rebels.
“The objective now is to sustain peace in Paquibato and make it durable,” Santos said. “We shall be in the forefront of supporting different conflict and cultural sensitive initiatives and other peace endeavors of the local government unit of Davao City through the Peace 911.”