Army conducts outreach activities in N. Cotabato 'peace zones'
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2014 - 12:07pm

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines – The municipal government of Tulunan gave an imprimatur to the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion to embark on non-tactical humanitarian missions in “peace zones” that are home to impoverished peasant families.

Mayor Lani Candolada, presiding chair of the Tulunan municipal peace and order council, said Wednesday the outreach activities shall be coordinated with community leaders and civil society organizations in the peace zones in Bituan, Lampagang and New Alimodian.

The peace zones were established 14 years ago as a security measure meant to stave off hostilities, between the military and marauding forces of the New People’s Army, causing recurring dislocation of villagers.

Candola was quoted in radio reports as saying that the 39th IB will only engage in peace-building projects in the peace zones to help address poverty and underdevelopment.

The mayor said extending humanitarian services to settlers in the peace zones does not transgress the demilitarization principles governing security protocols among rebels, the local peasant sectors, the military and the Tulunan local government unit.

Residents of the Tulunan peace zones were badly affected by Army-NPA hostilities before their enclaves were declared off limits to rebel and military forces more than a decade ago.

BITUAN CANDOLA INFANTRY BATTALION LAMPAGANG AND NEW ALIMODIAN MAYOR LANI CANDOLADA NEW PEOPLE PEACE RESIDENTS OF THE TULUNAN TULUNAN ZONES
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