From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 13): Ilocos Norte remains ‘rebel-free’: Military
INSURGENCY FREE. The Philippine Army briefs members of the Ilocos Norte peace and order council on the peace and order situation in the province, during the fourth quarter joint Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting held at the Capitol Session Hall on Dec. 7, 2018. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)
LAOAG CITY—Residents in this part of Luzon continue to enjoy a generally peaceful community with no monitored threats from the New Peoples Army (NPA).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), represented by Major Pedro Acosta Dacanay Jr., confirmed this as Ilocos Norte is a candidate for an insurgency-free province.
Amidst threats in the neighboring provinces of Abra, Ilocos Sur and Apayao, “there has been no monitored NPA activities in the province,” First Lieutenant Johnrey Barum of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army reported during the fourth quarter joint Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting held at the Capitol session hall here last December 7.
Since 2011 or for the past seven years now, Ilocos Norte has remained free from insurgents.
“There had been some reports however of sightings but when validated by authorities, said individuals were not armed,” he said.
With the intensified drive of the Duterte administration to get rid of the NPA or the Communist Party of the Philippines, the friendly forces continue to implement area security while reaching out to the far-flung communities and make government presence felt through various outreach programs and massive information and education drive in schools and villages.
Ilocos Norte has been under the jurisdiction of the Abra-based 24th Infantry Batallion (IB) while Ilocos Sur and La Union have been under the 81st IB.
With the support of the military, the Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Philippine National Police is now taking the lead in fighting the remaining insurgents here.