TACLOBAN CITY – The Army in the region is committed to support sports development among youths, especially those coming from villages once infiltrated by the members of the communist terrorist group, the New People’s Army (NPA).

Thu said Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Division, after the division-backed football teams won a competition in Cebu City.

The Stormkickers and the Palapag Football Club won the 17th Thirsty Cup held last Feb.12 in Cebu City.

“I assure you my full support to sports, especially these football teams. I believe that they will achieve more in the future; we just need to support, help and train them,” Ligayo said.
The football teams were earlier organized by Ligayo when he was the commanding officer of the 801st Brigade based in Hinabangan, Samar.

The members of the football team are children from remote barangays that were then under the influence of the NPA.

“It is better to immerse our children or youths in sports to give them opportunities which are way better than engaging in activities organized by left-leaning groups,” Gen. Ligayo said.

During the three-day football competition where more than 200 teams from all over the Philippines, the Stormkickers, composed of 10 girls and 15 boys participated in the Ladies Open and Under 19 (U19) Boys Categories, respectively.

On the other hand, the Palapag FC has 10 players that participated in the Under 13 (U13) Boys Category.

Under the Ladies Open, the team garnered three wins and made it up to the quarter finals, and in the U13 category, the Palapag FC recorded two wins.

The teams were coached by two soldiers of 8ID, Private Rueben Ranille and Corporal Edelyn Panaguiton, and another soldier who also played during the said competition under the Women’s Category, Private Angelie Pagpaguitan.

Even though the team didn’t advance to the championship finals, Pvt Ranille, was appreciative of the chance given to these eager football neophytes.
He also expressed his gratitude to MGen Ligayo for the new milestone achieved by the team. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)