Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Anti-terror bill steps up Army drive vs. communist group in Bicol

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 17, 2020): Anti-terror bill steps up Army drive vs. communist group in Bicol (By Connie Calipay)

Philippine Army's 9th Infantry Division Commander Brig. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr. (Photo courtesy of 9ID)

The commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia on Wednesday said passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill will boost and expedite the government’s campaign against the communist terrorist group (CTG) in the region.

Brig. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., head of the Philippine Army's 9th Infantry Division, said the law will enhance the security and stability of the country particularly in Bicol, and will assure further that justice will be served to all the victims of terrorism.

“This will enable the authorities to strengthen their thrusts and appropriately penalize these terrorists and their cohorts as well as those who will propose, incite, conspire, and participate in the planning, training, and facilitation of terrorist attacks including those who provide support and recruit anyone to be a member of a terrorist organization,” he said in a statement.

Robinson said in Bicol, despite the dwindling capabilities of the CTG, it has desperately launched terror attacks amidst the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“This proves how serious terrorism endangers lives of the innocent civilians in the communities. Not to mention its negative impact on economic development,” he added.

He said they are looking forward to a more stringent measure that will help curtail, if not eradicate, the insurgency problem in the region.

“Aside from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing -- the New People’s Army (NPA), which has been declared terrorist organizations by the US State Department, European Union Council, and even President Duterte -- there are still other terrorist groups that we have to confront and monitor,” he said.

Robinson said the JTF Bicolandia's stance on the Anti-Terrorism Bill, alongside its endeavor to end terrorism in the Bicol region, and the continuous cooperation and understanding of the people in the communities they are serving are of vital importance to the success of their mission.

“Guided with the principles of human rights, this bill will enable JTF Bicolandia to intensify its anti-communist terrorist campaign in protecting the people and our motherland,” he said.

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