ILOCOS SUR, Sept. 23 (PIA) - Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), specifically from Charlie (CRUSADER) Company of the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion and the police force in the municipalities of Nagbukel and Narvacan, facilitated recently the conduct of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPATs) refresher seminar.
This seminar aims to strengthen and develop the barangays to be resilient from the intrusions and influence of the communist terrorists and other threat groups or individuals.
It should be noted that the BPATs are force multipliers in law enforcement especially in maintaining peace and order situations as well as crime prevention and anti-insurgency in the barangays.
Further, amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the seminar was also intended to equip these BPATs with the knowledge to fight the unseen enemy and prevent its spread in their respective communities.
The training in Nagbukel town was participated in by 60 barangay tanods from four barangays namely: Taleb, Bandril, Casilagan and Poblacion East while 18 barangay tanods from Barangay Sucoc attended the seminar held in the municipality of Narvacan.
During the seminar, topics discussed include the duties and responsibilities of BPATs, basic principles of investigation, "Anti-Bastos" Law and sexual harassment, arresting techniques, Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) terrorists infiltration and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
In a message, Ronald Corpuz, barangay chairman of Sucoc, said "Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan sa walang sawang pagsuporta at pagtulong sa amin, malaking tulong ito para madadagdagan ang kakayahan ng mga BPAT member sa aking barangay."
Likewise, Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Marinas Jr., commanding officer of the 81st IB, said, "We must not let our guards down as we faced the pandemic, instead, we must be more vigilant to fight this crisis and also to end the insurgency here in the province of Ilocos Sur."
"I would also like to stress our appreciation and gratitude to the residents of the two municipalities for showing their concerns in maintaining peace and order in their barangay and for participating in this BPATs training. We, the Philippine Army, together with the PNP, vows to continue to work together to attain a peaceful community for our people," he added. (JCR/AMB/PIA Ilocos Sur with reports from 81IB)