NO PULLOUT. Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, assures Wednesday (Nov. 2, 2022) that no military patrol base or detachment will be pulled out despite the declaration of an insurgency-free Davao region. He said remnants of the communist New People's Army (NPA) could regroup and harass communities in the region again. (Screengrab photo of Maj. Gen. Mempin)

DAVAO CITY – The chief of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID) assured Wednesday that not a single military field detachment will be pulled out despite the declaration of an insurgency-free Davao region.

In a press briefing here, Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, the 10ID chief, said there will be no movement of deployed military units in various communities formerly influenced with communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels.

"It doesn't mean that since we are insurgency-free, we will leave the communities. The people are still healing from the atrocities brought by the NPA, and they are still rebuilding their trust in the government, so there is no need to leave them," Mempin said.

On Oct. 12, the region was declared insurgency-free after the military’s series of successful peace and order initiatives, in coordination with local government units, resulted in the dismantling of NPA remnants in the area.

"If we pull out the detachments and patrol bases, there is a tendency that the NPA will regroup and harass the leaders in the communities," Mempin said.

He also underscored the importance of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay Program, which he said has played a "big role" in attaining an insurgency-free region.

The PNP program seeks to identify peace and other public safety concerns such as prevalent crimes, drug problems, health issues, hazards, and disaster-prone areas as well as address insurgency mainly at the grassroots.

"They helped us a lot. The PNP assisted the Armed Forces of the Philippines in making the region peaceful and free from the NPA," Mempin said. (PNA)