The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division hopes to declare all provinces in Western Visayas as peaceful and ready for further development before the year ends, its commander, Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, said yesterday.
On March 13, the 3ID, Police Regional Office 6 and the provincial government jointly declared Iloilo as “peaceful and ready for further development”, and the signing of the declaration was witnessed by Armed Forces deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. John Bonafos and Lt. Gen. Nicanor Vivar, commander of the AFP Central Command.
The provinces of Guimaras, Aklan, Antique and Capiz had been declared as such earlier by their respective provincial governments, concurred in by the 3ID and PNP.
With the declaration, Negros Occidental is now the last province in Western Visayas to be declared as such, Guerrero said.
The 303rd Infantry Brigade is targeting to declare the whole province of Negros Occidental as “peaceful and ready for further development” by June, with the four districts of Negros Occidental, composed of two cities and four municipalities, Cadiz City, Isabela, Calatrava and Hinigaran, already declared as such.
The 3rd district is also slated to be declared within this month.
Guerrero said the joint declaration is a manifestation that the collaborative efforts of the AFP, PNP and Iloilo provincial government have successfully prevented and denied the insurgents of their expansion and immensely contributed to keeping the peace and order in the province.
In a statement issued by 3ID Public Affairs Office, Bonafos, said he recognized the unity and the spirit of “Bayanihan” showed by the AFP, PNP, local government units, various government agencies, the civil society and other stakeholders in order to jointly address the desire for a just and lasting peace in the province.
“Our gains in peace and security efforts must be sustained. We will work even harder together with all stakeholders for the sake of peace and progress”, Guerrero said.* GPB
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