The Philippine Army has recruited 120 new militiamen in Samar to help sustain the insurgency-free status in some areas of the province.
Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso, commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said the local government-funded training will start soon for these recruits who will be deployed in communities cleared by the military from the threats of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Known as members of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), these militiamen will be assigned in selected villages in Basey, Pinabacdao, and Calbiga, Samar.
Their presence will facilitate the active involvement of residents in the protection of their locality.
“We need the CAFGU active auxiliary unit as our integrated territorial system after a place, which formerly under influenced of the communist group is declared peaceful and insurgency-free,” Diñoso said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
“They will serve as our territorial defense protection like in Samar province where many rebels and their supporters had already surrendered to the government. We want the communities to put up their own defense system,” he added.
Earlier, the military requested the province to finance the CAFGU training and provide allowances to them.
Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan said the presence of militiamen will help to attain the goal of having a peaceful province, as additional to the military and policemen.
“With their presence, we can be assured that the areas that were cleared by our military troops will remain peaceful,” Tan said.
The provincial government has set aside PHP10 million initial funding for the program implementation this year.
The amount will increase to PHP13 million next year. (PNA)