AFP, PNP deploy all-female contingent in Marawi City

MANILA — In line with government efforts to care for families displaced by fighting in Marawi City, the AFP and PNP officially deployed Tuesday an all-female civil relations company (CRC) in the war-torn locality.

The send-off ceremony in Villamor Airbase, Pasay City was spearheaded by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Eduardo Año.

The contingent is composed of 105 troops, of which 100 are enlisted military and police personnel, and five officers, including four from AFP.

Of the 105, 30 are from Luzon, 59 from Mindanao, and 16 from Visayas consisting of various religious denominations.

“The all-female CRC will be deployed to Marawi to form part of an inter-agency team that shall assist in the implementation of rehabilitation and recovery programs for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the battle-stricken city,” AFP public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, said.

Their mission is to assist in the implementation of programs that will help IDPs who have been traumatized by their experience in the ongoing clashes in Marawi City.

“The CRC may also serve as a mother or elder sister figure to the evacuees, especially the youth, to help alleviate their conditions in various evacuation centers,” Arevalo added.

Prior to their send-off, the CRC completed the required pre-deployment training organized by the AFP Civil-Military Operations School, and Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement from Aug. 21 to 25.

The CRC will be under the operational control of Western Mindanao Command. They will be positioned in evacuation centers as well as in communities that significantly need rehabilitation.

The deployment of the all-female CRC is one of the efforts of the Joint AFP-PNP Civil Relations Committee (JAPCRC).

It seeks to promote and enable the coordination and synchronization of AFP Civil-Military Operations and PNP Police Community Relations on matters relating to national security and development.

“The AFP and PNP recognize the need to address the substantial psychological stress experienced by the residents of Marawi City. With this, we commit our forces not only to liberate Marawi from the terrorists but to help the city get back up on its feet again, and ensure the protection of its citizens,” Año said.