The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division yesterday urged businessmen and private contractors not to give in to extortion demands of the New People’s Army in Negros Island, as it will help further strengthen rebel forces.
Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, made the appeal after noting a series of arson activities perpetrated by communist rebels in central Negros in the past several weeks.
The NPA had recently claimed the burning of a farm tractor, two cargo trucks and a heavy equipment in La Castellana, Moises Padilla, and in Kabankalan City, in Negros Occidental, as well as in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental, respectively.
Two weeks ago, suspected rebels also simultaneously burned heavy equipment of two private construction firms contracted by the government to build farm-to-market roads in the hinterland barangays of Mabinay, Negros Oriental.
Dolina ordered Col. Alberto Desoyo, whom he installed yesterday as the new commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, to ensure the effective coordination between them and the police, as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways, to secure the flagship programs of the government in Negros.
Desoyo, who was the commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion stationed in Sagay City, almost a decade ago, has replaced Brig. Gen. Eliezer Losanes, who is slated to assume the position of Assistant Division Commander of the 8th Infantry Division in Samar.
Dolina also instructed Desoyo to focus his efforts on clearing central Negros of communist rebels, as the 3ID has a mandate to accomplish the target set for them by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of dismantling guerilla fronts in Negros Island.
Negros Island is a priority area for clearing of local insurgents by the 3ID, Dolina admitted.
He slammed CPP-NPA for the rising atrocities it has committed in Negros Island, which he called an anti-people and terrorist organization.
On his part, Desoyo stressed the need for politicians not to provide support to the rebels.
“As I assume command of the Brown Eagle Brigade I cannot help but feel honored to be welcomed by all the combat support and its service unit commanders, and by no less than three fighting battalions,” Desoyo said, after receiving the unit colors from Dolina.
Desoyo supervises three Army battalions in Negros Island, composed of about 1,500 regular soldiers.
Dolina urged Negrense stakeholders to show Desoyo the same support they gave to Losañes.*GPB
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