As we embark to the current thrust of the new Administration, the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division has set its tone in support to the intensified Law Enforcement Operation being conducted by the Philippine National Police to secure the area from all forms of threats, criminal elements and illegal drug activities.
Heeding to the call of the National Leadership, the Division, together with the Philippine National Police regional offices and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agencies, both in regions 10 and 13, have facilitated the conduct of “Law Enforcement Operations Trainers Training”. The idea is to equip our soldiers with the necessary knowledge and skills during the conduct of every law enforcement operations in the area. Initially, the training benefitted 95 soldiers coming from different line and operationally controlled units of 4ID.
For the period, the Division has set breakthrough results after it displayed very significant and active roles during the conduct of 406 joint operations with the PNP. Noteworthy are the successful joint operations in two municipalities of Agusan del Sur.
In October 5, 2016, troops of 26th Infantry Battalion successfully supported the PNP and the Municipal Anti-illegal Drug Abuse Council during the simultaneous implementation of the eight search warrants at P-1, Barangay Consuelo, Bunawan town of Agusan del Sur. They were able to recover nine sealed transparent plastic sachets of SHABU weighing about 395 grams with an estimated value of Php 4,661,000.00 and the arrest of two drug suspects namely, Ms. Saada Cabugatan Macasalong and Mr.Amil Sultan who are both facing criminal charges on violations of the Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
A few days after, on October 15, 2016, 26IB personnel, together with personnel from Loreto Municipal Police Station, were able to discover two Marijuana plantations at the outskirts of Purok Bagul, Sitio Mactan, Barangay Kasapa 1, Loreto, Agusan del Sur. They were able to uproot a total of 54,600 fully grown marijuana with an estimated value of Php 13.78 Million.
All-in-all for the period, the Division was able to contribute significant results in all joint operations prompting some 562 drug personalities to voluntarily surrender to the authorities in Regions 10 and 13 while 11 high and low profile drug personalities were arrested during the buy bust operations. The division also recorded a total seized illegal drugs amounting to Php 28.20 Million.
Looking inward, the Division has also initiated a series of random drug testings to its personnel in the line units. A total of 988 soldiers were tested and 11 personnel (three from CAAs and eight from Enlisted Personnel) were found positive of using illegal drugs. They were either terminated or discharged from the service.
In line with the current thrust of our President, the Division is among the first units of the Philippine Army that has established a drug rehabilitation center located at the 401st Infantry Brigade at Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. Furthermore, the Command in coordination with the Department of Health Region 10 conducted an area survey for the possible utilization of Camp Kibaritan in Bukidnon as a drug rehabilitation area.
Facilitating the development in far-flung communities has always been at the forefront of our endeavors. For the year, out of 200 barangays that are considered priority areas for our Bayanihan efforts, all stakeholders were able to implement our BTA in 142 Barangays in the two regions. These areas are now sustainable and are ready for further development. The most recent significant Bayanihan activity that was conducted was the Serbisyo Caravan in the Municipality of Santiago, Agusan del Norte last October 21, 2016 with the theme “Tayo ang Pagbabago Para sa Kapayapaan”. This activity, which benefitted more than 5,000 people, was jointly conducted by the Regional and Local Government Units and agencies.
On our peace efforts with the CPP-NPA-NDF, a total of 28 NPAs have returned to mainstream society since the start of the 3rd quarter 2016 with a total of 34 firearms and 47 improvised explosive devices surrendered and recovered.
With these accomplishments, coupled with the active support of all stakeholders, 4ID is very confident that it can accomplish more before the end of 2016.