Col. Francisco Delfin, 303 rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that the Philippine Army in the Negros Island Region hopes that the truce between state security forces and the New People's Army will not last only during the yuletide season, but throughout the year.
Delfin, who supervises the internal peace and security operations in Negros island, said the suspension of military operations, both by the government and NPA, ended January 3, without any violation.
The Army's 3 rd Infantry Division also reported that they had not monitored any-insurgency related incident for the duration of the SOMO in Negros, Panay and Central Visayas, that have been added to its areas of operation.
Delfin said the yuletide season celebration in Negros was peaceful.
Last month, the Philippine Army figured in four encounters with the NPA rebels in southern Negros.
The military estimates that there are still about 400 remaining NPA members in Negros and Panay islands.
The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the NPA had earlier dismissed military claims that they have defeated the revolutionary movement in Negros.
The 3ID is running against time to clear Negros and Panay of armed NPAs by June this year, which is their target, before President Benigno Aquino III steps down, six months from now.
Brig. Gen. Harold Cabreros, newly-installed 3ID commander, however, said he is hopeful that they will meet their objective and vowed to sustain the gains made by his predecessors.*GPB
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