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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 13, 2017
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Army, PNP defenses
up vs. rebels attacks

Increasing New People's Army attacks in various areas of the country, have been noted in the past several daysand both the Philippine Army and National Police in Negros Island Region are not taking chances by re-visiting their offensive and defensive strategies.

Senior Supt. William Senoron, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, also said yesterday that he reconvened the Joint Peace Security Coordinating Council to review their security contingencies, after the unilateral ceasefire was lifted.

The JPSCC meeting Fridayattended by commanders of the 6th Special Action Battalion, Regional Public Safety Battalion 18, 62nd Infantry Battalion, Public Safety companies, and other law enforcement agencies, also focusedon the realignment of security forces, in anticipation of possible NPA tactical offensives.

Senoron said the PNP will be actively supporting the internal security operations of the Philippine Army, especially in intelligence gathering.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office is also consolidating its public safety units that are deployed in others areas of the province.

Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander, maintained that liivelihood in the countryside isthe “key” in the fight against insurgency.

“With the support of the government, the non-government organizations, the military and the people themselves, we will work hard to make such efforts bear fruit,” Aying said.

Brig.Gen. Francisco Delfin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, meanwhile, encourages localized peace talks.

“There have been precedents of localized peace talks, although these were hidden, since the focus was on the peace talks at the national level,” Delfin said.

He said that in the past six months, “NIR experienced a peaceful environment, in the absence of insurgency-related incidents, because of the unilateral ceasefire observed by both the CPP-NPA and the Philippine Army.”

Priest-turned-rebel Frank Fernandez, spokesman of the National Democratic Front in Negros, has repeatedly turned down offers for a localized ceasefire.

After the unilateral ceasefire was lifted, Army soldiers stationed in Negros island went on combat mode in anticipation of NPA attacks following clashes in Iloilo and other areas of the country.*GPB



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