Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Army commander: Poll duty and IPSP operations “complementary”

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 29): Army commander: Poll duty and IPSP operations “complementary”
Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, said election duty of soldiers in Monday’s barangay polls was complementary to the government’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP).

Brig. Gen. Patrimonio explained during a post-election briefing Monday afternoon that these two activities are not independent of each other.

According to him, the role of the Philippine Army in the barangay elections was to primarily secure areas affected by the insurgency problem, which is nothing new to the soldiers that have been conducting combat and non-combat operations even before the barangay polls.

More than 1,000 troops were deployed in the Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs) in Guihulngan City, Sta. Catalina, Siaton and Brgy Dobdob, Valencia in Negros Oriental, and in the different critical areas of the 5th District of Negros Occidental under the jurisdiction of the 302nd brigade, he said.

One platoon of about 28 men and two officers were also dispatched by the 79th Infantry Battalion to nearby Siquijor Province to augment the security personnel requirements there.

The Army commander disclosed that during Monday’s barangay elections, no insurgency-related incidents were reported especially in areas tagged by the military as having the presence of the New People’s Army.

Brig. Gen. Patrimonio, meanwhile, said the IPSP Bayanihan will continue in Negros Oriental according to the set time schedule as the Army targets to reduce the insurgency problem in the province to an insignificant level by the end of this year.


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