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3ID Commander: Giving former rebels a chance to live a new and normal life is our greatest accomplishment in 2019

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CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – The AFP’s Joint Task Force (JTF) SPEAR under the leadership of Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, the Task Force Commander and also the Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division recorded numerous significant accomplishments both in security, peace and development efforts in Central and Western Visayas in 2019.

Among the notable accomplishments of the JTF SPEAR is the decommissioning of 727 members and 337 firearms of Kapatiran para sa Progresibong Panlipunan, Inc (Kapatiran) formerly known as Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB/TPG).

The formal decommissioning of the said former rebel combatants led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at Headquarters, 3ID in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz last September 2019 can be considered as a significant milestone in the history of localized peace talks in the Visayas region. Indeed, peace is not an elusive dream.

Aside from the RPA-ABB former combatants, the JTF SPEAR also warmly welcomed and accepted 259 regular members and Militia ng Bayan of the CPP-NPA who rejected and abandoned armed struggle and voluntarily turned themselves to the government. Of the 259 surrenderees, 45 are from Panay Island and 214 from Negros Island. Some of them yielded with firearms; hence, the JTF SPEAR recorded a total of 125 surrendered firearms.

“A new and peaceful life is the best gift we can give to our brothers and sisters who are victims of the deceitful and selfish communist-terrorist armed struggle. And, giving them a life they are longing for is also our greatest accomplishment for CY 2019,” said BGen Vinoya.

For CY 2019 alone, the land component of JTF SPEAR composed of 3ID’s Infantry Brigades and Battalions conducted numerous combat operations resulting in 36 armed engagements that successfully prevented the CPP-NPA Terrorist’s plan to stage attacks not only against the government forces and vital installations but also to the people of Central and Western Visayas.

The JTF SPEAR’s initiated focused military operations led to the neutralization/killing of 10 communist-terrorists and capture of 29 others; seizure of 107 firearms and 38 anti-personnel land mines, and capture/discovery of 18 CNTs encampments.

During this period, the JTF SPEAR through the Joint Internal Security Operation (ISO) with Police Regional Office 6 and Police Regional Office 7, actively supported the conduct of joint law enforcement operations and joint combat operations that resulted to the disruption of the enemy’s plans to cast any forms of hostile activities.

In times of adversities and calamities, the JTF SPEAR never failed to perform its non-traditional role of serving and ensuring the welfare of the Visayans. The Task Force through the Philippine Army General Hospital and Camp Peralta Station Hospital sent doctors and nurses to Iloilo City Hydration Center in La Paz District to augment the anti-dengue efforts of the City Government. Moreover, the JTF SPEAR through the 3ID provided folding beds and tents to Iloilo City Government to be used by dengue patients.

During the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait Tragedy, the Task Force through the Tactical Operations Group 6 (TOG 6) participated in the search and retrieval operations for the missing victims.

Also, during Typhoon “URSULA”, the 3ID through its line units in partnership with other agencies and organizations, actively conducted disaster and relief operations benefitting 2, 350 families from three affected barangays in Northern Panay.

With the overwhelming and untiring support of the stakeholders, the Task Force through its Community Support Program (CSP) successfully delivered the government’s basic services to the grassroots communities in Central and Western Visayas by conducting several medical missions and outreach programs.

With our remarkable achievements through the Executive Order (EO) 70, the institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach in ending local communist armed conflict, I am looking forward to a stronger and more productive collaboration with the different government agencies, stakeholders and the whole Visayan community towards the sustainment of peace and progress in the region.

I am also reiterating my persistent call to the remaining leaders and members of the CPP-NPA Terrorist to surrender before they will be hit by the full force of the JTF SPEAR.  This 2020, the communist-terrorists can expect more intensified combat operations against them for we are serious in fulfilling every Visayan’s desire for the CPP-NPA and violence-free community.

As we intensify all of our military operations with the assurance of putting the primacy of human rights and the peace process on top of it, we are also doubling our efforts for localized peace talks as our means of ending the decades-long communist armed conflict. To avoid death and other misfortunes in the mountains, you have to leave the armed struggle and accept the government’s offer of peace. Come down now, talk to your government, and together we can move forward and find our way in peace.

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