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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, June 15, 2019
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More troops arrive from Bohol


More Army soldiers have been dispatched to Negros, in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte that state security forces address violent activities of the New People’s Army, and accelerate the development of the island.

Personnel and staff of the 302nd Infantry Brigade headquarters from Bohol arrived Thursday night at the Dumaguete City Port, on board BRP Ivatan and Landing Craft 299, and returned to their previous military camp in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental.

The return of the 302nd Infantry Brigade to Negros Oriental, after almost four years of being assigned in Bohol, came four days after the arrival also of 11th Infantry Battalion in the island.

But the 47th Infantry Battalion will remain in Bohol, Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said.

Madriaga said yesterday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now refocusing its security effort and peace and development campaign on Negros.

It will be a combined effort, including combat operations, clearing of insurgency-affected barangays and of pursuing localized peace talks, he added.

The 302nd Infantry Brigade will now have two battalions, the 11th and 94th Infantry Battalions , to supervise in Negros Oriental, while the 303rd Infantry Brigade is now supervising three other battalions, 15th, 62nd and 79th IBs, in Negros Occidental.

Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the arrival of more troops in Negros Island will mean greater pressure on local communist rebels, who are still fighting against the government.

Arevalo reported that in the past five months of this year, they were able to surpass their accomplishments for the whole year of 2018, because of their aggressive operations, and with the help of the communities, who provided them with information on the activities of local insurgents.

He also noted a lull in violent activities of the New People’s Army in the past few weeks, which he attributed to the series of debacles suffered by the local terrorist groups, as a result of 10 encounters they had initiated in the past five months.

Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, who supervises security operations in Western and Central Visayas, said that they will saturate Negros island for combat operations and peace development initiatives.

“We will saturate Negros Island with more troops to fill up every inch of the island,” said Dolina in a statement, adding that the return of 11IB will help in fast-tracking their anti-insurgency and clearing efforts in the island.*


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