AFP to setup regional command in Negros Island Region
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – With the creation of the Negros Island Region, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will setup a new regional command at the border of the two Negros provinces.
This was disclosed by General Gregorio Catapang Jr, AFP chief of staff, who visited Bacolod City on Wednesday, June 10.
While he has yet to discuss the details with Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr and Lieutenant General Nicanor Vivar, AFP Central Command commander, Catapang said “we will reconstitute our forces” in the new region.
“It will be an integrated approach together with other government agencies and units,” he added. “It will be a joint command of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. Hopefully, a general will be assigned here.”
Executive Order 183, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on May 29, separated Negros Occidental from Western Visayas or Region VI, and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas, or Region VII.
Catapang said the Negros Island command “will be an inter-agency peace and order committee or organization to include all armed services.”
He said that it will harness all resources of the government to address and maintain peace and security in the area.
“We will put up new camps in the middle of the two provinces to secure both sides.” Hopefully, it will be in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, or in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, he added.
He is looking to complete this transition within the year.
Catapang graced the ceremonies at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Gym to announce that the province of Negros Occidental is now considered insurgency-free and “peaceful and ready for development.”
“In my inaugural address in 2010 and 2013, I have emphasized the importance of attaining lasting peace in order to assure the success of the 11-point program of the Negros First Agenda,” Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr said.
He reiterated his call to the rebels “to come down and join the mainstream society and together we will fight poverty.”
Catapang, for his part, said that the success of peace campaign boils down to the mayors.
He said the province, after winning the peace, can now proceed to the next step, which is winning the progress. – Rappler.com