Sunday, September 16, 2007
CAGAYAN DE ORO Journal (Ben Balce / Sept 16) – The military here yesterday (Saturday) said there would be no letup in the government’s security efforts in the wake of the release of communist leader Jose Ma. Sison in The Netherlands.
The army’s 4th Infantry Division said it would intensify its proactive defense and would continue securing vital installations in this part of the country.
“Even if he (Sison) is now free, still there will be no letup in our operations against his men in the region,” said 4th ID spokesperson Maj. Samuel Sagun.
Sison was released from jail after a Dutch court found insufficient evidence to hold him on murder charges he gave out orders to kill two other communist leaders in the country.
Sagun said the Armed Forces, including the Joint Task Force Kilat here, would pursue internal operations against the New People’s Army (NPA). 4thID commander Maj. Gen. Jose Barbieto heads the task Force.
Sagun downplayed reports that Sison’s release would adversely affect the military campaign against communist rebels.
Rebels are reportedly contemplating on launching attacks to cripple vital installations, particularly in the Agusan provinces.
But Sagun said the 4th ID has no information that the NPA was planning on undertaking a major operation in Regions 10 and 13.
“But our troops continue to be ready,’ said Sagun.
Neither is Sison’s release a threat to Northern Mindanao or Caraga’s peace and order situation, he said.
“Whether he is in jail or not, our regions will continue living peacefully,” said Sagun.
Sagun also said the National Police in Northern Mindanao headed by regional director Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan has greatly contributed in the campaign against the communist insurgency here. The 4th ID and Camp Alagar have recently signed a memorandum of agreement in connection with the anti-communist insurgency campaign.
“The joint AFP-PNP campaign against insurgency started early last month. We have scored so much not only in terms of combat operations but even on civil-military operations,” said Sagun.
Sagun said soldiers her were optimistic about President’s Arroyo’s objective to rid the country of communist insurgency by 2010.