The abolition of Negros Island Region will also have an effect on the Philippine Army in the aspect of “coordination” among local government officials in their campaign against communist rebels, according to a senior military official said.
With Negros as a region, you could always put together the two provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental. But this time, we have to deal with two regions, Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said, apparently referring to Regions 6 and 7.
Negros Occidental is now again part of Region 6, while Negros Oriental returns to Region 7.
But what is good, Aying said, is that Negros Occidental and Oriental have already established their joint plans. What we will have to do, is bring Regions 6 and 7 together in putting these plans into action, as the coordinating point of two regions.
The 3ID area of operations includes Western and Central Visayas, as well as NIR.
Aying, who hosted Wednesday night a fellowship among journalist of NIR and Bohol in a hotel in Bacolod City said he will now coordinate with Regions 6 and 7 in all aspects, whether it is security, social or economic development, by bringing them to a planning table, and open up plans already crafted by NIR.
Asked if they are now back to square one in their security campaign plan, Aying said it has only been more than a week since the two Negros provinces separated from Regions 6 and 7.
“I believe that the people, and the coordination or familiarity between populace of Negros Occidental and Region, Negros Oriental and Region 7 are still there.
I don't think that will create much hassle. It's only a matter of adjustment with coordination, working together again and going back to the old structure, and they could adjust in a matter of months
LOCALIZED PEACE TALKS
Aying also welcomed moves from any sector to help facilitate the holding of localized peace talks.
“I highly encourage that,” Aying said, noting that the CPP-NPA national leadership no longer has control of their forces.
If one front or regional organization of the CPP-NPA will do what it wants, they will have their autonomy, he also said.
It is high time that these brothers of ours have to reconcile with the government, work with the mainstream and for both social, economic, political and even constitutional reforms together, Aying added.
“While it is sad that the peace process did not continue, I have strong trust in the government, which is capable of doing social,economic, political and constitutional reforms,” he said.
“All we have to say is for our brothers who have been fighting the government, is just to come . They may not come as a whole group, they may come as a sub-group, to reinforce or help the government find what the real economic, social and constitutional reforms we need, Aying added.* GPB
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