PAF boosts campaign vs Reds in Negros

BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) augmented the Army 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in its focused-military operations (FMO) against the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Island over the weekend.

According to the Army,  the PAF utilized its S-70i CUH Blackhawk and one element AW109 for aerial reconnaissance on Sunday, May 21.

The Air Force also helped the military in its information campaign by dropping off information materials from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in the hinterlands of Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental and Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental to fully inform residents about government programs and convince NPA combatants to return to the fold of the law, according to the 62nd IB.

A total of 10 NPA rebels were killed in series of encounters with the 62nd IB and 15th IB in Moises Padilla and Cauayan in Negros Occidental and Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on May 20 and 21.

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Visayas Command (Vicsom), said that no amount of deception, lies, or propaganda can hide the fact that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA in the Visayas region continues to weaken.

“We never take joy in taking the lives of our own people,” Arevalo said, as he reiterated his call to the remnants of the CPP-NPA in the region to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law. “Heed the call of the government while you still can,” he added.

Arevalo stressed that their focused military operation will be sustained until justice is served and just and lasting peace is attained.

“This is never going to stop. We cannot allow these peace spoilers to further sow fear and terror, as our operations will continue without any let up,” he said.

Arevalo said the series of debacles suffered by the CPP-NPA is the result of the Army’s active convergence with the people and the local government units (LGUs).

“This is a clear manifestation of the strong bond that we have in the fight against terrorism,” he added.