CEBU CITY – The military and the police in Central Visayas have heightened their vigilance to quell possible attacks from the New People’s Army (NPA) following the death of 10 communist terrorists in an encounter in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental last month.
Anticipating the NPA’s retaliatory harassment of government troops in the region, the Regional Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (RJPSCC-7) has intensified its defenses and ordered the uniformed men and women to always be on alert.
In a statement on Thursday, Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, said soldiers and policemen are aware of the communist group’s desperation after 10 of its members were killed and two other suspected NPA members were arrested.
The joint peace and security center has earlier reminded government troopers deployed to secure the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination sites to be safety-conscious and be alert against lawless elements.
“(The) Army and PNP (Philippine National Police) troops (will) not drop their guard down and be extra vigilant against the CNTs (communist NPA terrorists) who are now very desperate to inflict harm against the government forces after suffering major setback,” the Army official said.
The encounter in Guihulngan City also yielded 11 high-powered firearms and is considered as one of the accomplishments of the RJPSCC-7.
Meanwhile, the Army Division’s public affairs office said the joint body has also been up to date in its focused military operations as well as its law enforcement operations.
To continue winning the hearts and minds of the Central Visayas residents, particularly in Negros Oriental, the joint body has also strengthened its civil military operations-police community relations (CMO-PCR) programs.
The military and the police in the region, it said, are closely working together to sustain their legal offensive against the enemy forces as well as its inter-agency stakeholder engagements to maintain close contact with the different sectors.
The statement said the RJPSCC-7, formed to ensure collaborative efforts of the military and the police in addressing peace and security concerns in Region 7, discussed in its April 5 meeting other possible security threats.
Among the threats the body is monitoring now is the reports about some groups posing as members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) conducting recruitment activities in Cebu. (PNA)