The training came almost five months after a unit of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked Kolambugan. A number of civilians were killed and some properties were destroyed in the attack.
But while the training focused on military tactics, it also had inputs on human rights, history of the Mindanao conflict, and conflict analysis and culture of peace.
Carino Antequisa of the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) discussed basic conflict analysis and culture of peace.
Antequisa defined social conflict as a result of incompatible goals vis-à-vis scarce rewards.
He also discussed the history of the conflict over land and ownership of resources in Mindanao in light of the stalled peace process.
Lawyer Jonathan Puno, provincial legal officer of Lanao del Norte emphasized the prohibition on the deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law.
1Lt Lynbert Abrau, civil-military relations officer of the 35th Infantry Battalion, shared concepts on intelligence and counter-intelligence operations at the barangay level.
“This is essential to support the requirements of the AFP field units directly involved in counterinsurgency operations,” he said.
1Lt. Samuel Osias, also of the 35th IB, taught basic firearms laws and regulations.
“Firearm safety is a matter of personal responsibility and self-control. The individual is always responsible for his actions and for safe gun handling,” Osias said.
He said that “war as much as possible should be avoided” and that “conflict should not escalate to violent confrontation.”
He stressed that CVOs are prohibited from carrying guns, although they may be allowed to do so “to dissipate potential violence.”
The participants also learned about first aid and crime prevention
The training was initiated by Kolambugan with support from provincial government of Lanao del Norte, Cafod, Ecoweb Inc., Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police.
Municipal Mayor Bertrand Lumaque said the training was the first of a series and will end with a mass ‘graduation’ of all barangay tanods. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)