Military vows to end insurgency in Eastern Visayas
CATBALOGAN CITY –– Government troops in Eastern Visayas are determined to end the insurgency problem in the region.
Major General Pio Diñoso III, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, said they would be given the “best” both in personnel and in assets after President Duterte identified Eastern Visayas as a “priority area.”
“The President said Samar (Island) is one of the priority areas, meaning we have the support. They will bring in all the best officials, armors, and air assets,” said Diñoso, who assumed the post last July 5.
“There is a marching order that before the President steps down, we can at least contain, not necessarily eliminate, the insurgency problem to a manageable level. And it’s doable,” he added.
President Duterte earlier issued Executive Order 70 which calls for a ‘whole of nation’ approach in ending the insurgency problem in the country.
Samar Island is composed of the provinces of Western Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar, where the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) is still felt and where most of the firefights involving government troops and the rebels happen.
Diñoso wanted the return of two battalions to the region to help contain the communist rebels here.
He also expected to be given at least two choppers out of the 32 choppers to be procured by the national government.
If they have an air asset, the general said it would be easy for them to track down the rebels in the mountains.
At present, the 8th ID has two choppers under its Tactical Operations Group.
Diñoso, meanwhile, asked all local government leaders to support the Duterte administration campaign in addressing the region’s insurgency problem.
“Executive Order 70 [was] issued by the Chief Executive so supporting the order is not an option but mandatory. So the mayors have to follow the President and non-compliance will be dealt with by the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” he said.
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