214 cops, soldiers sent to 9 Northern Samar towns for counterinsurgency operations
TACLOBAN CITY—At least 214 policemen and soldiers were deployed on Monday (March 22) to nine towns in Northern Samar province for counterinsurgency operations there.
They would be sent to the towns of Lavezares, Catubig, Las Navas, Bobon, Pambujan, Laoang, and San Roque and stay there for at least two months.
The policemen and soldiers were from different units—Northern Samar provincial police force, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Special Action Force and 803rd Infantry Brigade—and trained under the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP).
RCSP is a program involving different government agencies, which included the Philippine National Police and Philippine Army, to prevent rebel presence in villages.
Catubig Mayor Galahad Vicencio, president of the League of Municipal Mayors in the province, welcomed the deployment of the government forces.
“Let us continue to support our shared goal to end this decades-long thievery, terrorism, and economic sabotage being done by the communist terrorist group,” said Vicencio.
“And pay no heed to the voices of their front organizations because our people deserve to live in a safer Philippines,” he said.
In a statement, Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan said the RCSP aims to provide basic services and programs needed by villagers in remote communities and discourage them from joining the rebels or fighting the government.
“The provincial government assures our partners that we will continue our support to the RCSP,” the governor said.
“Let us hope that we will eventually build the safest and most peaceful Northern Samar for all of us to work and live in,” he said.
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