Viscom intensifies peace efforts, military ops as BSKE nears

By John Rey Saavedra

July 24, 2023, 8:09 pm

<p>Visayas Command commander, Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Visayas Command commander, Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo. (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – The Visayas Command (Viscom) on Monday said that soldiers are now conducting focused military operations side by side with localized peace engagements to deter attempts of insurgents to influence the outcome of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

“Our focused military operations will be sustained. This will form part of our security preparations for the upcoming Barangay and SK elections,” Viscom chief Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo said.

Arevalo said soldiers in the Visayas are working with the local government units in peace initiatives to ensure peaceful village polls in October, this year.

The top Army official here, meanwhile, assured the people in the Visayas that amid their busy works in coordinating with local authorities as part of extensive preparation for the elections, the soldiers will not stop running after peace spoilers who are still out in the mountain planning to derail the democratic process.

“We cannot allow the CPP-NPA to regain their foothold by terrorizing our people and influencing the result of the upcoming electoral process,” Arevalo said.

Viscom’s public information officer Lt. Col. Israel Galorio said that from July 17 to 20, the CPP-NPA in the Visayas suffered a major setback following the encounter in Barangay Magsaysay, Mapanas, Northern Samar against the members of 803rd Infantry Brigade.

Galorio also said that soldiers from the 62nd Infantry Battalion encountered the insurgents in Barangay Montilla, Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental.

These armed encounters, he said, resulted in the death of three NPA rebels and the recovery of four firearms. (PNA)