Tuesday, June 18, 2019

11th IB returns to Negros Oriental

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 18, 2019): 11th IB returns to Negros Oriental

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Soldiers of the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army assemble at the Dumaguete Port for a welcome ceremony held on June 10, 2019. (PIA7-NegOr)

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo (in blue shirt) greets LTC. Carlo Ferrer, commander of the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army during the welcome ceremony for the government troops held on June 10, 2019 at Dumaguete Port. The 11th IB returns to Negros Oriental after two years of deployment in Mindanao. (PIA7-NegOr)

DUMAGUETE CITY -- Soldiers of the 11th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army returned to Negros Oriental after two years of deployment in Zamboanga City.

A welcome ceremony for them was held yesterday morning at the Dumaguete Port as the soldiers aboard the BRP Tarlac of the Philippine Navy arrived in this city port.

Local officials led by Gov. Roel Degamo and members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) greeted the returning government troops.

“The Province of Negros Oriental had waited for this moment to finally come since the announcement of President Duterte a year ago. This is a welcome development for all of us all here,” Gov. Degamo said in his speech.

Present also during the welcome ceremony is MGEN. Dinoh Dolina, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

In his message, MGEN. Dolina congratulated the 11th IB soldiers for successfully carrying out their mission in Mindanao and told them that as their division commander, he is proud to have them back in Negros Island.

“You will once again be fighting an enemy in an environment you are familiar with. Negros Island, as you all know is still plagued by the presence of communist-terrorist group. Though they may be fewer in number now comparing few years ago when you left, they are still an inconvenience to the people and a hindrance to the progress of the island,” Maj. Dolina said.

“I expect you to show these local terrorists that you are now wiser, deadlier, and more dedicated than when you left. I expect you to immediately remind our enemies that the 11th IB is here for a serious business,” MGEN. Dolina added.

In an interview with the members of the local media, BGEN. Ignacio Madriaga, commanding officer of the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army disclosed the marching order for the 11th IB is to improve the peace and order situation and usher in the development in partnership with the local government unit in Negros Oriental.

“Hanggang barangay level yan makikipagtulungan tayo. Iyon naman ang role ng Philippine Army is to partner with everyone na may stake sa peace. We will be a strong partner of everyone who wants to bring peace and development sa Negros Oriental (We will cooperate down to the barangay level. The role of the Philippine Army is partner every stakeholder in peace. We will be a strong partner of everyone who wants to bring peace and development in Negros Oriental),” BGEN. Madriaga elaborated.

When asked on the area of deployment for the11th IB troops, Madriaga’s response was:

“Magkakaroon tayo ng reassessment kung saan talaga magkakaroon ng impact and deployment ng forces natin to ensure iyong success ng operation. Iyon ang magiging basis of deployment (We will have a reassessment. We will put them in areas we think our forces could leave a great impact and ensure success of operation. That will be the basis of deployment).”

However, Capt. Cenon Pancito III, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the 3rd ID, gave hints that the 11th IB will be deployed in the southern part of the province noting that the 94th IB has been directed to go to Guihulngan City.

BGEN. Madriaga also cited that 11th IB soldiers will have a short training-orientation to refresh them on the current peace and order situation in the province and the status of the military peace campaign.

On the other hand, the 302nd Brigade Commander clarified that the return of 11th IB soldiers to Negros Oriental does not mean that the military will go on an offensive track to eradicate insurgency problems in the province.

BGEN. Madriaga pointed out that the insurgency problem in Negros Oriental is “grievance based” noting that insurgents are thriving by manipulating the discontent or grievances of people living in the hinterlands.

“Maraming klase iyan. Normally, socio-economic iyong concerns na yan. Ang gagawin natin, sabi nga ni Governor (Roel Degamo), it’s not guns and bullets. We will result to dialogue. Mga localized peace talks and we will bring iyong concern agencies to solve iyong mga issue and grievance na kino-confront ng mga tao natin. (Normally, it’s socio-economic issues but there are other kinds. What we will do, just like what Governor Roel Degamo said, it’s not guns and bullets. We will result to dialogue and localized peace talks. We will bring the concerned agencies and let them address the issues and grievances of the people),” BGEN. Madriaga explained.

With the return of the 11th IB, Negros Oriental will now have two separate battalions to maintain the peace and order situation in the province.

With this development, the Philippine Army is looking forward for Negros Oriental to be declared as insurgency free.

“Mao pod ning among pangandoy na unta sa short period of time ma-declare nato. We are looking forward kasi very supportive naman ang local government unit sa Negros Oriental. Mao nang optimistic kami (It has been our dream and our goal that the province be declared insurgency free in a short period of time. We are looking forward to it because local government units are very supportive. We are optimistic about it),” Capt. Pancito said.

Capt. Pancito also revealed that the 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army is also directed to transfer in Negros Oriental with this month. (ral/PIA7-NegOr)


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