ORAS, Eastern Samar -- The Philippine Army based in Eastern Samar has intensified its monitoring in upland communities to deter activities of the New People’s Army (NPA) especially in poverty-stricken communities.
Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Leo Gador, commander of the Army 14th Infantry Battalion based in Dao village in this town, said the entire province was peaceful, as military took full control of areas considered to be rebel-infested in the past.
Of the 22 towns in Eastern Samar, only four (Jipapad, Maslog, Mac Arthur, and Giporlos) were not yet declared as manageable conflict-affected and development-ready by the Provincial Government and military.
“The peace and order of Eastern Samar is manageable compared to other provinces in the region where the NPA rebels have been waging war against government troops over the past years,” Gador told PNA on Monday, May 15.
He made the statement days after fresh clashes between the military and communist rebels in neighboring Northern Samar and Leyte provinces, as the NPA makes effort to renew presence in Eastern Visayas region.
Meanwhile, Gador assured the safety of members of the United States Armed Forces in Eastern Samar for the Balikatan military exercise that is focused on humanitarian works.
More soldiers have been deployed to secure Guiuan town where post-disaster rehabilitation activities have been conducted as part of this year’s Philippines-US Balikatan.
“We do value our relationships with the US Armed Forces and we are working together to accomplish common objectives of the Balikatan in Guiuan. Our intent is to do what is necessary to improve the stability and security of the province. It’s by working together that we can achieve our goal of lasting peace,” Gador added. (PNA)