From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 29): New Army battalion eyed to fight NPA in Panay
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday talked of a plan to activate a new battalion in Panay to continuously go after the New People’s Army in the island.
“We need the unity of different sectors. Once and for all, let us end this,” he stressed in a media interview after his visit to the wake of slain Police Officer I Joeffel Odon who died in a recent NPA ambush in Maasin, Iloilo.
Currently, they are working to fast track the pull out of the Philippine Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalions (IB) deployed to Marawi City during the conflict. The battalion is based in Miagao, Iloilo.
Colonel Pio Diñoso, commanding officer of the Philippine Army's 301st Infantry Brigade (3rd Infantry Division) based in Dingle, Iloilo, said that they are currently expediting the activation of the new battalion.
“We have a lot of candidate soldiers who will undergo training so we could create the additional battalion,” he said in a media interview.
Diñoso expressed hope that the new battalion will be organized early next year.
Año said that they would also provide additional training and equipment to the troops of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) of the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) to improve their skills and perform better.
He added that they would also review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), tactics, procedures and techniques of the Philippine National Police personnel in Western Visayas to improve their skills in dealing with incidents like NPA ambush and clash.