THE military in Negros Occidental province is amenable to the localized peace talks being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lt. Col. Igberto Dacoscos, commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Isabela, Negros Occidental, said that localized peace talks would be very relevant in the province because of the presence of Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros, the local unit of the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
"We believe that with the involvement of the local government units and other stakeholders, the localized peace talks would be more effective as it will also involve the local communities that are usually affected by the disturbance of the peace and order in their respective localities," Dacoscos said.
He also cited the incentive package being offered by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. for the members of the NPA rebels who will return to the government fold.
"The benefits directly go to the communities, so they really feel their involvement in the localized peace talks," Dacoscos added.
Meanwhile, Dacoscos said the Army in the province is conducting focused military operations in preparation for the 50th founding anniversary of the NPA on March 29.
"We have relentless combat operations to prevent any plans by the NPA rebels to launch atrocities in Negros, especially in our area covering the fifth and sixth districts," Dacoscos said.
He said the military has already identified the possible areas where the rebels might conduct combat operations in celebration of their founding anniversary.