Albay virtually NPA-free, say Salceda, AFP
THE military and local government officials have declared the province of Albay as a “manageable conflict area” on Thursday.
The declaration was made by Albay Governor Joey Salceda and Major General Yerson Depayso, commander of the 9th Infantry Division, in the presence of the Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. and Southern Luzon Command chief Major General Ricardo Visaya at the Bicol University in Legazpi City.
“Although there are still remnants of the insurgents, what’s important here is they have remained few. The message here is that the people have decided that they want peace,” Catapang told reporters.
A “manageable conflict area” is defined by the military as a state where atrocities by insurgents can be immediately contained.
The province of Albay is the third province in Bicol region to be declared as a manageable conflict area after Catanduanes in December 2014 and Camarines Norte in January 2015. A same declaration is being eyed for Camarines Sur next month.
About 40 members of the New People’s Army were thinly dispersed in the outskirts of the province, Visaya said.
Military forces will not be pulled out from the province, he added. AC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.