Saturday, February 17, 2024

301st IB vows to crush 2 NPA fronts in Panay Island

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 17, 2024): 301st IB vows to crush 2 NPA fronts in Panay Island (By TARA YAP)

ILOILO CITY – The 301st Infantry Brigade aims to dismantle the two remaining New People’s Army fronts in Panay Island.

“While we have reduced the strength of the NPA, the two remaining NPA fronts still pose a challenge,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Samson on the sidelights of the 301st IB’s 41st founding anniversary this week in Camp Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo.

BRIG. Gen. Michael Samson speaks at the 41st founding anniversary of the 301st Infantry Brigade in Camp Hernandez, Dingle town, Iloilo province. (Tara Yap)

“In our assessment for the past few months, these two fronts are gaining grounds in the mountain areas,” he said, referring to the Southern Front and Central Front Committees.

“What we have to do is pursue them more in those areas,” said Samson who marked his first anniversary as commander of the 301st IB which covers Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo.

Samson’s units have engaged the NPA in 31 encounters, 21 in Iloilo province, last year, the most notable of which was in Leon town in September where the 61st Infantry Battalion killed three NPA rebels.

Among the slain rebels were
Rebecca Alfaro, alias “Jing,” secretary of the Southern Front Committee.

They also engaged in five encounters in Capiz, two in Aklan, and one in Antique.

Thirty-one NPA firearms were seized. Seventeen NPA rebels surrendered in Panay and the 301st IB facilitated government aid for more than 112 former communist guerrillas.

Samson urged remaining NPA rebels to surrender and avail of government livelihood programs through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. “They should live peaceful lives with their families,” Samson said.