Two batches of Philippine Army soldiers have been deployed in Negros this week to boost the campaign to end the presence of the Communist Party of the Philippines New People's Army (CPP NPA) in the island.
On Friday, troops of the 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) of the 3rd Infantry Division from Panay arrived onboard BRP Tausug at Bredco port in this city to augment the forces of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) based in neighboring Murcia town.
Their arrival came two days after the deployment of the newly formed 14th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion here from Cebu.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303IBde, said the presence of the 33rd DRC will strengthen focused military operations in their campaign to hunt down the remaining New People's Army (NPA) communists in Negros.
We will continue our relentless pursuit and use all our might against the communist terrorists who have been a menace to the people in the countryside. I encourage the people to continue to report the presence of the NPA in their communities for us to prevent their extortion and other terroristic activities, he added.
Meanwhile, troops of the 14th CMO Battalion will reinforce and sustain the conduct of community support programs in the brigade's priority areas and complement the implementation of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) services being launched across Negros.
Pasaporte said they will be deployed in various areas to boost the brigade's civil military capability and strengthen its partnership with the local government units and concerned agencies.
Once an area is cleared and combat troops will leave, (they) will stay to maintain and sustain support for the community, he added.
Pasaporte said the deployment of additional troops in Negros supports the implementation of Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte to adopt a whole of nation approach to end the local communist armed conflict.
The 303IBde has operational control over three battalions covering the northern and central parts of Negros, including the first to fifth districts of Negros Occidental and the first district of Negros Oriental.
These are the 79th IB based in Sagay City, 62nd IB stationed in Isabela town, both in Negros Occidental, and 94th IB with headquarters in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
SOURCE: PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY