Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Army exec vows insurgent-free status for Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3, 2019): Army exec vows insurgent-free status for Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor

TASK GROUP CEBU. Col. Jerry T. Borja (on the rostrum), the new commander of Task Group Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor, delivers a message during the turnover ceremony at the Bondad Hall of the Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City on Tuesday (Sept. 3, 2019). Borja said he takes it as a challenge to retain the insurgency-free status of the three provinces, as Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, commander of the 3ID, and Col. Noel T. Baluyan, commander of the 302nd Infantry (Achiever) Brigade, listen. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

An Army officer who took over the helm as new head of the military task force overseeing Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor on Tuesday said he would take pain in retaining the insurgency-free status of the three provinces to sustain their economic development.

Col. Jerry T. Borja, in the turnover ceremony at the Bondad Hall of the Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu here, noted the great challenge to preserve the overall peace and development and to prevent resurgence of insurgency and terrorism in the three provinces.

“I am fully aware that the challenges are so great, as we know that the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor are now in the helm of peace and rising prosperity. And the great task now is how to sustain and maintain the generally peaceful environment,” he said in his message.

Borja called on the officers and men of the task group “to always be oriented to the Army’s vision and mission in accomplishing our assigned tasks.”

“I strongly believe that in simultaneously addressing security and development issues, convergence of efforts is needed… and to continue to aggressively engage all the stakeholders, our PNP (Philippine National Police) counterpart, the local government units (LGUs), and other government agencies and the community,” he pointed out.

Borja replaced Col. Noel T. Baluyan, his classmate in the Philippine Military Academy, as Task Group Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor commander. Baluyan assumed his post as new commander of the 302nd Infantry (Achiever) Brigade now based in Tanjay, Negros Oriental last August 27.

Borja said that aside from his new assignment, he would continue to concurrently function as group commander of the 7th Regional Community Defense Group of the Army Reserve Command that supervises the four Community Defense Centers (CDCs) in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Negros Oriental, in the meantime that his successor is yet to be named.

The CDCs are overseeing the Reserve Officer Training Corps units in different private and public colleges and universities in the four provinces.

Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army who led the turnover ceremony, pressed the new task group commander overseeing Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor “to work hard to achieve the peace that we are relishing.”

“We also have to work harder in order to retain peace and prevent the resurgence of insurgency and terrorism,” Dolina point out.

“Cebu as the economic and political hub in the Visayas, and Bohol, together with Siquijor as top international tourist destinations in the region, stresses the importance of preventing enemy resurgence and strengthening convergence not only of the government and non-government agencies, but also the communities,” he said.

The chief of the 3ID based in Jamindan, Capiz said they are ready to “slowly facilitate the transfer of ISO (internal security operations) responsibility to the LGUs and the PNP,” soon so the military could totally get rid of insurgency in these provinces, “and the AFP can focus on dealing (with) external threats.”

In his relinquishment speech, Baluyan noted that Cebu was declared insurgency-free in 2010, and that it is a challenge for the task group commander “to sustain the ISO gains in Cebu.”

Baluyan recognized the "continuous, strong, and active partnership with the stakeholders in addressing various security issues” in the area of responsibility.


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