Army to continue, strengthen ‘Oplan Bayanihan’
TACLOBAN CITY—The Philippine Army will continue and strengthen the government’s counterinsurgency plan codenamed “Oplan Bayanihan” in Leyte, according to a military official.
This, as the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade based in Ormoc City changed its leadership last week, where Col. Emmanuel Cacdac replaced Col. John Bonafos as the acting brigade commander.
Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug, commanding general of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said the efforts which have been vigorously pursued by the former commander will be continued in order to sustain the gains and further attain peaceful and developed communities.
“The change of command is part of the military tradition that gives utmost recognition to the significant accomplishments made by the previous commander and gives new challenges to the new commander as he fulfils his duties and responsibilities in his new assigned task,” Layug said in a statement.
Layug also enjoined local government officials and other stakeholders to continue their commitment of support and cooperation to the new commander and the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan.
Oplan Bayanihan is the government’s program that shifts the focus to quash the 42-year old communist insurgency away from traditional combat operations to “developmental activities.”
The military claimed through its new counterinsurgency program, the strength of the communists New People’s Army (NPA) has significantly reduced.
Also present during the simple turn over rites were Baybay Mayor Carmen Cari; Hilongos Mayor Jose Emery Roble and Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria, regional police director.
The 802nd IB covers the areas of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran. (JOEY A. GABIETA & REYAN L. ARINTO)
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