From the Visayan Daily Star (Apr 4): Rebels in NegOr insignificant: Army
The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division has declared the New People’s Army in Negros Oriental “insignificant”, after the continuing surrender of their members, and with others apprehended or killed in gunbattles.
Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, 3rd Infantry Division commander, yesterday said that Negros Oriental is now moving out of the communist affectation as manifested by the desire of the people to, once and for all, move their province towards development.
The Komiteng Rehiyonal Sentral Bisayas has reportedly moved out from Negros Oriental and the number of its members continues to dwindle. This is due to sustained military pressure on them by the 302nd Infantry Brigade, that is working with the provincial government, and other sectors, through Oplan Bayanihan in the development of insurgency-affected communities, he said.
The AFP Central Command in the Visayas had said earlier that they are moving towards the turnover of peace security to the local governments of Negros Oriental.
Brig. Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday that Negros Oriental will be formally declared a “Conflict Manageable and Development Ready” province on April 25.
The military estimates KRSB remnants in southeast Negros Oriental at less than 20.
Since last year, 11 NPA members have abandoned the armed struggle and five others were apprehended, with 18 firearms, 12 rifle grenades and an improvised explosive device either surrendered or recovered, in encounters, military records show.
Two more rebels died yesterday, while another one was captured in an encounter with the 79th Infantry Battalion soldiers in Brgy. Balayong, Pamplona, Negros Oriental.
The supervision of the remnants of the South East Front SDG has reportedly been transferred from KRSB to KR-Negros.