The 302ndInfantry Brigade of the Philippine Armed based in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, has asked the government for an extension of six months to clear the province of rebel infestation, its commander, Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, yesterday said.
He said the command is assessing the result of the continuous combat operations and Bayanihan Team activities in the province. Earlier, he had said there will be a zero infiltration of the New People’s Army by the end of 2013.
Patrimonio said 12 of 17 barangays earlier identified as insurgency-affected have been neutralized, although this is still subject to validation and confirmation.
The five remaining barangays are Nagbinlod and Talalak in Sta. Catalina, and Sandayao, and two others that Patrimonio did not identify, in Guihulngan City.
He said the fact that several rebels have returned to the folds of the law, while the rest are on the run, is an indication that the Army is gaining headway in its mission.
Patrimonio said one criterion for clearing a barangay of insurgency problem is when an armed group is neutralized.*JG
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