From the Manila Standard Today (Nov 2): Samar peace on Army’s cross hair
Despite another clash with the New People’s Army in Matuguinao, Samar last Oct. 30 killing one soldier, the government has remained steadfast in its mission to bring peace in the Eastern Visayas region. Major Gen. Gerardo Layug, 8ID commander based in Catbalogan, Samar, said the rule of law and stability cannot be compromised. “The sacrifices and heroism of my men will further strengthen us in pursuing lasting peace in the area” he said, noting that the armed forces “Bayanihan” operation would continue to expand community development projects.... The army has set 2013 as deadline to end insurgency in Samar, long blamed as the primary reason for stunted economic growth. The island province received assistance recently from the Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission led by US forces through PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities. Last September, 21 NPA members based in Samar and Leyte returned to the fold and were given free livelihood skills training and financial assistance.