Gov't soldiers bring Christmas cheers to former NPA-hub in Eastern Samar village | Inquirer News

Gov’t soldiers bring Christmas cheers to former NPA-hub in Eastern Samar village

Eastern Samar is now under a state of calamity FILE PHOTO

TACLOBAN CITY — A remote village in Borongan City, Eastern Samar that was infested with communist rebels, were surprised by visitors a week before Christmas.

Wearing Santa caps, soldiers brought Christmas cheers by singing carols and giving Christmas gifts, noche buena packages, and candies to residents of Barangay San Mateo, in a bid to block the recovery attempts of the New People’s Army (NPA).


The activity was not only for gift-giving, but to convey to the more than 1,400 residents of the village the government’s continued support, said Brigadier General Noel Vestuir, commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade.


San Mateo, located about seven kms away from the city proper, used to be under the influence of the NPA, but has since been cleared by the military after residents cooperated with the government programs.

Vestuir said the money they used to buy the gifts to residents, especially to the elderly and poor, was from the soldiers.

They also gave candies to the children.

He said each soldier contributed their daily meal allowance of P150 and was able to collect P18,000. Some of their friends, Vestuir said, also contributed.

“We are grateful for the voluntary donation of our troops as a way of sharing the blessings that they received to our less fortunate brothers and sisters who have less to enjoy the festiveness of the Christmas Season. Through this noble gesture, we can deliver to them the true essence of Christmas which is happiness in giving,” he said.

“We are also thankful to those benefactors who have contributed to extend support to this endeavor and benefit more of our impoverished kababayans and let them feel that they are being loved,” Vestuir added.


“It is very heart-warming to see the smiles and the happiness of those who received the simple gifts and since Christmas is the season of love, seeing the light in the Children’s eyes is all what it takes to make Christmas a magical time of the year.”

The remote communities of Borongan City used to be one of the centers of NPA activities on Samar Island.

On Nov. 11, 2019, at least six soldiers were killed and 20 others were wounded when the NPA detonated six explosives and fought with government troops in a remote Pinanag-an village in the city.

After a month, a junior police officer and an old woman were killed on the spot, while four other policemen and 12 civilians, including three minors, were injured in a roadside blast set up by rebels.


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TAGS: Christmas, Eastern Samar, NPA, soldiers

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