Rebel threat in Monkayo downgraded to manageable

AFTER the continuous operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, the municipality, which was earlier considered as among the Category 3 in the Commission of Elections' (Comelec) watch list areas, was declared April 13 as "conflict-manageable and development ready area."

Captain Rhyan Batchar, 10th Infantry Division spokesperson, said in a conference held at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) that the ceremony happened at the Monkayo Municipal Hall on Wednesday, April 13.

"They were officially declared as such after passing the series of validation," he said.

The municipality underwent the validation test conducted by the Area Clearing Evaluation Team and Area Clearing Evaluation Board.

After the formal announcement, the internal security efforts will be turned over to the local government unit.

However, Batchar clarified that the military will not fully abandon the area as they will continue to support the local law enforcers.

"Hindi po iiwanan ng sundalo ang area but the developmental efforts will be left to the LGU already," he said.

This pertains to the decreased number of the New People's Army (NPA) in the area. The Guerilla Front 3, which operates in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, is now downgraded into session committee 3.

"It means that the strength of the group is already in manageable level, konti na lang silang natira," he said.

He also said that the barangays are also already cleared of NPA influence.

Police Regional Office-Davao spokesperson Chief Inspector Andrea dela Cerna also announced Wednesday that the municipality will be on Category 1 of the Election Watchlist Areas of the Comelec. (CCC/With Maria Clarita Calonzo and Hannah Marie Perez, NDDU interns)

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