Military hopeful E. Visayas to be insurgency free by 2016
CATBALOGAN CITY – Military officials in this region were lauded for their efforts to curb insurgency through various approaches such as military combat and civil military operations.
In the celebration of their 24th founding anniversary of the 8th Infantry Division last August 3, Central Command Commander Lieutenant General Ralph Villanueva said that the presence of the military in the region pave the way for peace and security and development to slowly be achieved by the people in Region 8.
Citing as example was the declaration of Biliran and Southern Leyte as insurgency free-provinces and the province of Leyte as “conflict manageable and development ready area.”
It is only the island of Samar that still remains with problem on insurgency; however, the Army commander said that not all areas in the island are affected.
“In this, we should be thankful to the help of various sectors, local government units, and your cooperation and coordination with the Philippine National Police,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva added that although their target for the region that by year 2016 Eastern Visayas is totally insurgency free, just like the islands of Bohol and Cebu, this aim should be achieved even earlier to their target.
“We are already close to our goal of making this region a peaceful and secure place to lived in and be visited but the Army will not wait for 2016 for this thing to happen.I hope that before 2016 we can already declare all provinces in Eastern Visayas as insurgency free provinces,” Villanueva said.
He added that once declared as insurgency free, the region will definitely experience development on its economy, industry and tourism just as what had happened in Bohol and in Cebu that is now a well-developed province in the country.
“Investors will come and businesses will prosper if the Army achieved its goal for this region,” he added.
This statement of Villanueva was seconded by Major General Gerardo Layug, commanding general of the 8th ID.
Layug said that once infrastructure projects in the island of Samar are done (these are road and bridges constructions), development and prosperity is assured to the people.
Among these road projects, according to Layug, are the circumferential roads connecting the coastal towns of Northern and Eastern Samar provinces and the inter-town roads in the tri-boundaries of the three Samar provinces.
He added that at present, although insurgents are still felt in some areas of Samar, the military is doing all its effort to curb them through military operations and influencing people to trust the government by educating them on negatives effects of joining insurgency and providing them basic services that government and other agencies can’t provide problem on accessibility and security. (ROEL AMAZONA)
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