CAMP LUKBAN, CATBALOGAN CITY – Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement, the Philippine Army (PA) immediately lifted the unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF in Eastern Visayas region.
A statement from the PA’s 8th Infantry Division (8ID) says that the recent violations made-up by the communist rebels in other regions only shows that they are not reallyamenable to pursue the peace negotiations.
In Eastern Visayas, there were verified reports that even during the start of the unilateral ceasefire last August 21, 2016, their expansion continues through recruitment especially the minors and demanding revolutionary taxes from small businessmen.A concrete manifestations that during peace process these rebels were strengthening their forces, 8ID stated.
According to the information from the 8ID headquarters that there are persisting threats from the NPA attacking the military units of the 8ID while conducting civil military activities with the Local Government Units and Non-Government Organizations in bringing basic services especially to far flung areas and throwing misinformation that accordingly these efforts are actually combat operations and were in violations against the on-going ceasefire.
“The 8th Infantry Division will pursue its combat operations as per guidance by our Commander-in-Chief to stop atrocities being perpetrated by the NPA. In the conduct of offensive operations against this terrorist group, rest assured that the military will strongly adhere to our sworn duty of serving and securing the people against all threats and instilling among our troops the respect for human rights, rule of law and international humanitarian law.”
Meanwhile, in order to address and strengthen the aspirations of peace and order in the region, the Army in Eastern Visayas, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Northern Samar spearheads the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting and stakeholders’ fellowship at the Governor’s residence in Catarman last February 8, 2017.
The activity was aimed to unite the Local Chief Executives and stakeholders in addressing the poverty alleviation; peace and order update and support the government’s drive against illegal drugs and lawless violence in the area.
Present during the activity were Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, commander of 8ID; Brig. General Mario G. Lacurom, commander 803rd Brigade; Chief Superintendent Elmer P Beltejar, regional director of Police Regional Office 8; Rep. Raul A. Daza, 1st District; Governor Jose L. Ong Jr.;Vice Governor Gary M. Lavin; Mr. Valente P. Bajet. DILG, provincial director; Atty. Efren J. Sabong, provincial administrator; Mayor Don. L. Avalon of San Jorge; Imelda Bonifacio, regional area manager of OPPAP; some 24 municipal mayors of Nortnern Samar; church leaders; media personalities and members of Northern Samar PPOC.
Farnacio assured the people of Eastern Visayas that they will be highly protected by the military troops against any atrocities that will be brought by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
He informed the participants that as per guidance by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for those NPA members who would like to surrender, the AFP will humbly welcome them and that they will be given remuneration to start a new and better living.
Governor Ong stressed in saying that it’s about time to remove the root cause of poverty and to destroy the NPA’s influence in their respective barangays.
Farnacio also underscored the AFP’s new campaign plan dubbed as Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) “Kapayapaan”.
This is the continuance of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” that was terminated last year.
This campaign will focus on sustainedmilitary operations to defeat the foreign and local terrorist organizations; contribute to the promotion of peace, active support to law enforcement in war against drugs and contribute to nation-building.