Barangays in Guihulngan “cleared” of insurgency
Judy Flores Partlow (The Freeman) - March 8, 2014 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines – Five barangays of Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental are now officially cleared from the problem of insurgency, according to the 302nd Infantry Brigade based in Tanjay City of this province.

The villages of Tacpao, Bulado, Calamba, Hilaitan and Basak were recommended as “insurgent-free and development-ready” barangays following a recommendation from the Area Clearing Evaluation and Validation (ACEV) Board on Thursday, according to Capt. Cresenciano Gargar of the 302nd IBde.

The ACEV Board, composed of the representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the local government unit of Guihulngan City, evaluated these barangays and declared them “cleared” from insurgents after passing the parameters prescribed by the Joint Letter Directive of the AFP and PNP, said Gargar in a press release.

The directive is on the Guidelines in Evaluating the Implementation of Internal Security Operation (ISO) Campaign Plan against the Communist Terrorist Movement (CTM) approved on October 13, 2008.

The ACEV reports of the five barangays were issued and signed by the members of its Board at the TESDA Hall, in Guihulngan City on Thursday. The barangays were previously “infested” with NPA rebels, and “hampered the government’s development efforts in these areas,” said Gargar.

Gargar said the residents of these barangays were the common targets of the alleged extortion and liquidation activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA).

But the active and untiring support of the LGUs towards the efforts of the Bayanihan Teams of 11th Infantry (Lapulapu) Battalion deployed to these barangays had resulted in positive changes to the community.  Although some expressed apprehension and fear, many of the residents supported the initiatives of the government and the military to prevent the entry of insurgents into their communities.

Colonel Christopher Estella, deputy brigade commander of the 302nd IBde and chairman of ACEV, was quoted as saying that “peace and development are always (like) two sides of a coin. As barangays are cleared from NPA influence, we expect that development will always follow. However these barangays will continue to face serious challenges if these issues are not properly addressed with the right approaches.”

The LGU’s role have been very essential in the sustainability of government development efforts, especially after a barangay is cleared of insurgency, he said.

Glicerio Bulado, a councilman of Brgy. Hilaitan, Guihulngan, also said that “frequent visitation of the local government especially in the remote sitios of my barangay surely gained the support of the populace and reject the ideas of violence or armed struggle.”

Brigadier Gen. Francisco Patrimonio, 302nd IBde commander, said “more barangays in Negros Oriental will be declared insurgent-free as the military continues its Bayanihan operations in the province where the insurgents are continuously diminishing.” (FREEMAN)

AREA CLEARING EVALUATION AND VALIDATION ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BARANGAYS BAYANIHAN TEAMS BRIGADIER GEN CAMPAIGN PLAN COLONEL CHRISTOPHER ESTELLA GARGAR GUIHULNGAN CITY NEGROS ORIENTAL
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