Saturday, November 11, 2017

Imee steps up monitoring of any extremist infiltration in IN

Ilocos Norte governor Imee R. Marcos

Staff reporter
LAOAG CITY—After 15 years of being insurgency-free, provincial officials are warning Ilocos Norte residents of possible extremist infiltration with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s declaration of war against members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a joint Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting held at the Capitol auditorium, Ilocos Norte governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos who presided over the meeting urged concerned local authorities and residents here to report any suspicious activity happening in their respective area of jurisdiction.

Citing the on-going war in Mindanao where the military sent a great number of soldiers in this northern part of Luzon to augment government troops there, Ms. Marcos cautioned that the NPA may take this opportunity to expand in the province.

“We should never take this too lightly and let us not be complacent after we have been declared insurgency-free for the past 15 years,” Ms. Marcos said.

She likewise urged local chief executives in the province to actively participate in any initiative preventing the entry of NPA here.

In a power point presentation, Maj. Amado Gutierrez of the 81st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (PA) based in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos sur, he confirmed that there are at least two considered threat groups near the Ilocos-Cordillera area.

As a precautionary measure, the PA in cooperation with the Department of Education and local government units here had intensified information drive in public schools for students to be aware of the presence of the enemy.

According to Mr. Gutierrez, these threat groups are targeting young individuals for recruitment.

Earlier this year in Ilocos Norte, Mr. Gutierrez reported there had been sightings of unknown armed groups in the mountainous towns of Nueva Era and Solsona.

The PA also monitored based on a recovered video on the presence of about 70 hardened NPA cadres in Ilocos region.

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