DavOcc now insurgent-free

DAVAO CITY — The Army’s 10th Infantry Division formally declared the Davao Occidental province as “insurgency-free” during a ceremony held in Malita town recently.

10th ID commander Major Gen. Nolasco Mempin said the declaration was the result of aggressive military and police operations, leading into the collapse of the New People’s Army operating in the province.

He also lauded the anti-insurgency campaign of the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade, the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion, and the Philippine National Police field units in the province.

Mempin said NPA Guerilla Front Tala, which was once active in the peripheries of the province, is considered “cleared,” based on the parameters set forth by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP.

The commander also disclosed that insurgency issues and concerns were resolved in identified conflict-affected areas and geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas, resulting in the “demolition” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front in the province.

Meanwhile, Mempin said they are also optimistic to declare the Davao Region insurgency-free on or before 30 September.

He said only one NPA unit remains active before Davao Region can be declared “insurgency-free”, the weakened NPA GF-18 operating in Davao Oriental province.

“The Eastern Mindanao Command gave us the timeline to declare the region as insurgency-free until September 30. We are trying our best that it will not reach that deadline for us to dismantle the remaining NPA unit,” Mempin said.

The military, however, said they have already cleared the barangays that were formerly influenced by the NPA GF-18, enabling it to be declared a “weakened unit.”

Meantime, Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. lauded the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the pnp for their tireless “toil and hard work” just to end the insurgency in the country.

Faustino cited the success of the government in putting the communist rebels’ operations into annihilation, was due to cooperation of the local government units and the people in the community.

“I am confident that more development initiatives will spur profound progress in the province and improve the people’s living conditions,” Faustino said.

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