Army’s Spearhead Division Commander orders relentless pursuit of terrorist NPAs in Negros

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CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz –  Following the encounter between the 3rd Infantry Division’s 62IB and terrorist NPAs in Sitio Tambo, Brgy Santol, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental last 22 November 2019, BGen Eric C Vinoya, Commander 3ID orders all units under his command to be relentless in its pursuit operations against peace spoilers in Western and Central Visayas.

BGen Vinoya has always been very passionate of ending insurgency in Region six and seven since he first reported as Assistant Division Commander of 3ID and later on in concurrent capacity as Commander of Joint Task Force Negros. It was during his time that the NPA suffered series of major defeats in its armed struggle efforts. “While I personally commend the troops of 62nd Infantry Battalion for their gallantry in showcasing the might of the Army against the NPA terrorists I urged all soldiers never to back down from our resolve to serve the Filipino people. Fiercely hunt these terrorists and bring them to justice.

The constitution mandates the AFP to protect the people, and we will not be remiss with that mandate. We will even be using all available military resources just to ensure that NPA will be crushed in due time. “Vinoya said. On the other hand, Vinoya once again made a call to the remaining fighters of the NPA. “Surrender now or be killed. You cannot win the war against the government forces. Sumuko na kayo at i-avail ang mga programa ng gobyerno. Pag di kayo sumuko, wala na tayong pag-uusapan. Alam nyo na kung ano ang mangyayari sa inyo. Kung anuman ang nangyari sa kasamahan nyo sa Binalbagan ay tiyak ding mangyayari sa inyo kung patuloy kayong mag papalinlang sa mga pangloloko ng ilan ninyong mga kasamahan” Vinoya stressed.

            He also elaborated that the government is sincere to help these misguided fighters should they surrender. The Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is likewise pointed out as part of the sincere efforts of the government that surrenderees may avail once they decided to return to the folds of the law. “We call on our brothers and sisters who are still in the mountains to abandon the armed violence. Likewise, we are calling on the relatives of the NPA to persuade their relatives to return to the folds of the government. We are sincere in our offer for peace, and we ensure the security and personal safety of those who will come down and we will help them join the mainstream society and live a peaceful life.”

In conclusion Vinoya assured to the public that the Army will continue to protect the people of Negros and will put an end to CPP-NPA’s terroristic activities as he urged the public to continuously support the Army by immediately reporting any presence of terrorist armed group and give information to the Philippine Army.

The encounter which resulted to the killing of one (1) and the wounding of another one was a product of the pursuit operations conducted by the troops of 62nd IBn after receiving reports on the NPA intimidation activities in Barangay Tinongan, Isabela, NOC last November 20, 2019 and after receiving information from concerned citizens that more or less fifteen (15) CNTs are terrorizing the area. Along with the two (2) casualties are the recovery of one (1) cal. 45 firearm and apprehension of three (3) other unidentified personalities who were at the vicinity of the encounter site. No casualty reported on the government side.