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Nation

Cavite joins list of NPA-free provinces

- Alexis Romero -

MANILA, Philippines - The military has declared the province of Cavite insurgency-free and transferred the lead role of maintaining internal security to its police and local executives.

Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato, spokesman of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the military and the Cavite Provincial Peace and Order Council have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which directs the local government to lead the internal security operations.

Cavite Gov. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi and Maj. Gen. Jorge Sogivia, 2nd ID commander, signed the agreement.

“The MOA was made possible through a provincial resolution accepting the responsibility in internal security operations from the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Detoyato said in a text message.

Detoyato, however, clarified that the military will continue to assist local executives in maintaining security in the province.

“The AFP will not entirely leave Cavite but will be the support government agency in the final phase of the (anti-insurgency) campaign,” he said.

The military declares an area insurgency-free if the communist movement there is already non-existent or too insignificant to affect the lives of the locals.

Detoyato said Batangas and some parts of Laguna will soon be regarded as free from the influence of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Aside from Cavite, other provinces deemed free from NPA influence are Guimaras, Siquijor, Biliran, Marinduque, Romblon, La Union, Bohol, Aurora, Cebu, Quirino, and Tarlac.

The AFP said the membership of the communist movement in the country dropped to just 4,702 last year from a peak of 25,000 in 1987.

The decline was attributed to the military’s combat operations as well as the government’s developmental programs.

The government has set a June 30, 2010 deadline for ending the decades-old communist insurgency.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

CAVITE

CAVITE GOV

CAVITE PROVINCIAL PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL

DETOYATO

INFANTRY DIVISION

JORGE SOGIVIA

LA UNION

MALIKSI AND MAJ

NEW PEOPLE

NOEL DETOYATO

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