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Thursday, October 8, 2009

AFP General, Local Officials Rededicate School and Health Clinic in Sumisip

By Lt. Col. Jerry Lobb Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines Public Affairs

BASILAN, Philippines- Members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, along with U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines and local government officials rededicated an elementary school and a health clinic in Sumisip Oct. 3.

Brig. Gen. Eugenio N. Clemen, AFP 1st Marine Brigade Commander, joined Basilan Assemblyman Naser Asarul and Sumisip Mayor Haber Asarul in barangay Guion to rededicate the Oval Elementary School, burned down by the Abu Sayyaf Group March 28.

“Parents here are eager to send their kids back to school so they can learn,” said Asarul. He encouraged the students to finish their educations to prepare themselves to become the community leaders, teachers, and military leaders of the future.The AFP Seabees rebuilt the school under the direction of the National Development Support Command. Despite harassment by ASG elements, they were able to finish the school ahead of schedule and under their projected budget.

AFP Soldiers also delivered 150 desks and 50 text books donated by USAID to the new school, and provided security for the event.

JSOTF-P provided approximately 100000 pesos worth of construction materials. This was the second project in the region completed and coordinated by NADESCOM and JSOTF-P. The first project was Irelley Elementary school, also burned down by the ASG.

“This school is a place my son and daughter can learn to read and write and help them so they can have a better future,” said a local mother who identified herself as Norina.

Following the school dedication, Clemen, Asarul and several other AFP officers traveled to barangay Mangal to dedicate a one-unit health station. AFP Soldiers also provided security as provincial health authorities treated local residents for minor health ailments.

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