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Press Release
First Youth Leadership Summit for Indigenous People in Maguindanao
Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao- The 1st Mechanized Infantry (Lakan) Battalion, Armor (Pambato) Division, Philippine Army spearheaded the conduct of first ever Youth Leadership Summit for Indigenous People of Maguindanao from 06 to 08 December 2019.

The three-day activity with a theme “Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow” was intended for the forty (40) IP youth belongs to the Teduray tribe coming from conflict affected or depressed barangays of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer and Ampatuan all of Maguindanao. This activity aims to develop youth leaders coming from the Indigenous People that would be useful in the society and help the Local Government Units in nation building. 
The closing ceremony was graced by Hon Melanio U. Ulama, Ministry for Indigenous People Affairs (MIPA), BARMM and he encourage the youth by telling his personal experience.  Ulama said, ”This is the first time that the military conducted Youth Leadership Summit intended only for the IPs”.  Likewise, “It is a challenge to every youth from the Indigenous People to strive hard and be productive in the community and let not poverty ruin your future”he added.
On the other hand, one of the participants said “Nang dahil sa YLS nagkaroon ako ng lakas ng loob na iahon ang aking sarili, hindi pala kami pinapabayaan ng ating gobyerno. Dati takot kami kapag nakakakita ng sundalo hindi namin sila tinitingnan baka kami saktan, mali pala ang aming impresyon. Tinulungan po nila kami na mangarap at i-develop ang aming sarili’’.

Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) was one of the subjects presented to the participants. Through the information given by all competent instructors, they were able to equip them with vast knowledge to defend themselves against recruitment from the left leaning group of the society.

The Youth Leadership Summit for Indigenous People 2019 was successfully conducted at The Notre Dame of Ezperanza, Sultan Kudarat through the overwhelming support coming from the four (4) Mayors of Maguindanao; Hon Edris Sindatok-Mayor Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Hon Datu Andal S Ampatuan V- Mayor Datu Unsay, Hon  Bai Johaira “Bong” Ampatuan-Datu Hoffer and Hon Bai Leah G. Sangki-Ampatuan.
The summit was also made into realization with the collaborative efforts of Youth For Peace Movement–PUKAW Inc, MSU-Dalican, MIPA-BARMM, The Notre Dame of Esperanza, 57IB, 33IB, 61CMO Company and local PNP-Ampatuan.
LTC FERNANDO, CO, 1Mech Bn assured that the Lakan Troopers will continue to perform its mandate to bring hope and empower to the youth belongs to the Indigenous People of Maguindanao and he quoted the saying of Franklin D Roosevelt “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

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