TAKING a cue from the directive of the newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief to end insurgency within three years, the Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division, however, assured of an earlier period.

With the appropriate number of personnel, 4th ID Commanding General Mario Chan said three years is "too long" to do the job.

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"Sobra ang three years. Much earlier pa. And that's very possible as far as the areas of the 4th ID is concerned," Chan said during a press conference held the other day at its headquarters in Camp Evangelista, Barangay Patag, this city.

Chan's statement came in reaction to AFP Chief Ricardo David, who was once the commanding general of the 4th ID, who vowed to end the insurgency problem in the country within three years.

Chan stressed that the New People's Army (NPA) is no longer considered a threat to national security, particularly in the areas of the 4th ID.

To prove this claim, the province of Misamis Oriental was recently declared insurgency-free and had turned over to local leaders and the police the task of handling their internal security.

"Thanks to the programs of Governor Oscar Moreno. This was one of the important factors why there is no more NPA movement in Misamis Oriental," Chan said.

He, however, emphasized that when a province is handed over to the local government executive, it doesn't mean the presence of the military will not be felt anymore in that area.

He said the military will still be in the area to assist the Philippine National Police. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)