Army unit boosts anti-insurgency efforts

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

AS THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) repeatedly said, crushing insurgency is not all about arms.

There are others factors that need to be enhanced to topple down communist groups.

In a bid to advance the government’s anti-insurgency campaign, the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion will be deploying personnel to identified areas in Iloilo.

On July 22, 2019, Community Support Program (CSP) teams were ceremonially sent off at Camp Carreon in Barangay Libot, Calinog town.

The CSP, which replaces AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan, emphasizes the military’s new thrust of enhancing nation-building and countryside development relative to the peace policy of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Colonel Orlando Edralin, 301st Infantry Brigade deputy commander, and Vice Mayor Renato Casinao of Calinog, led the deployment ceremony.

Lieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, 61st IB commander, said the CSP teams will be deployed to different barangays of the municipality.

Batara added that the deployment of the CSP teams jived with the AFP Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan’s conduct of Development Support Operations, which aimed to sustain the peace, ensure security and help maintain public order to foster the foundation for economic and human development.

“CSP is our means to help our local government in addressing the peace and security concerns of the communities and to deliver basic government services especially in the far flung and conflict-affected areas. It also aims to bring our government closer to the people,” he said.

Batara underscored the importance of unity of all members of the community, which he claimed is one of the importance factors in the success of every peace-related undertaking.

Thus, he urged every sector of the society, most especially the people of Calinog, to help and support the Army in its quest towards the attainment of sustainable peace and development not only in Calinog but in the whole province of Iloilo.

Meanwhile, Major Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, commended the Calinog local government unit for giving its full support to the Army’s peace initiatives specifically to the CSP.

“Your support also means that you have full trust to your Army in bringing genuine peace to your beloved municipality,” Dolina said. (Photo Courtesy of Philippine Army Spearhead Troopers/Facebook page)