3ID: Visayas nears 'total victory' vs communist insurgency

3ID: Visayas nears 'total victory' vs communist insurgency
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GOVERNMENT forces in the Visayas region are nearing "total victory" against the communist New People's Army (NPA), paving the way for potential declarations of "stable internal peace and security" (Sips) in Negros and Panay Islands.

The 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division has conducted operations against the NPA, leading to 20 encounters initiated by the government.

They have engaged in two major and decisive battles, resulting in the neutralization of 16 NPA members, surrender of nine NPA members, capture of one NPA member, and seizure of 47 firearms.

The last guerilla front in Negros has been dismantled, leading to a recommendation for the province to be declared a Sips zone.

The Negros Occidental Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee has signed a resolution in support of this declaration.

On the other hand, a key leader of the NPA group in Bohol and his associates were neutralized, which led to a weakening of the group's influence in the province

Panay Island's Central and Southern Panay Fronts have experienced setbacks, leading to the possibility of the Sips project being implemented, which could benefit the island's residents.

"We will not be swayed by their fabricated stories. Instead, we will relentlessly pursue our shared goal of establishing Stable Internal Peace and Security for all Visayans. We anticipate achieving this target sooner than expected, given the support and trust the people have placed in the security forces. This is evident in the influx of quality and reliable information received, leading to encounters with significant results favorable to us," 3ID Commander Major General Marion Sison said.

Sison criticized the NPA in the Visayas and its affiliated organizations for creating false stories to discredit the security forces and regain public support.

"This black propaganda, however, is nothing new. This is done on purpose to keep alive the dying spirit of the remaining members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) in order to prevent them from abandoning their futile and senseless revolutionary cause," Sison said.

He said this tactic of spreading misinformation is a common strategy used by the NPA to maintain the morale of its members and prevent them from giving up on their cause.

“This accusation and allegation of violations of Human Rights and disproportionate use of military power are mere desperate propaganda and disinformation campaign thrown at us by the remnants of CTG," Sison said.

He said the NPA and its allies use deceptive propaganda to distort the public's view of military and police operations, aiming to undermine the credibility of security forces. This tactic is a known strategy employed by the NPA when they are facing defeat or are in a difficult situation.

"As protectors of peace and the communities, our government forces maintain a high level of professionalism and consistently observe, uphold and protect human rights, the International Humanitarian and the Rule of Law in all of our endeavors and operations, at all times," Sison added.

The commander said the whole-of-nation approach, localized peace engagements, and support to barangay development programs have been instrumental in improving peace and security and liberating communities from the NPA's influence.

“We are winning, and we are committed to sustaining our gains at all costs. With the people on our side, we will undoubtedly achieve "Total Victory" against the CTG. And all together, we will reap the rewarding benefits of a region with a Stable Internal Peace and Security,” Sison said.

General Romeo S. Brawner Jr., chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), visited the Visayas Command and the 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade. He directed the commanders to end the threat of insurgency during his visit.

"We are very hopeful and optimistic that by the end of the year 2024, we can really achieve "Total Victory" and we can defeat the communists,” Brawner said. (SunStar Philippines)


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