Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ilocos Norte retains insurgency-free status

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—Officials and residents here enjoy a generally peaceful community with no monitored threat from the insurgent New Peoples’ Army (NPA).

Lt. Col. Charles Castillo, the newly-installed commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion confirmed this during a joint Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council Meeting held at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, Provincial Capitol, this city.

Since January up to present, Mr. Castillo reported they have not encountered or monitored any enemy activities in the province amidst threats from Ilocos Norte’s neighboring provinces such as in Apayao, Abra, Ilocos Sur and Cagayan.

Effective January this year, Mr. Castillo replaced Lt. Col. Eugene Osias. The army assigned Mr. Osias to the 7th Infantry Division of Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

While strengthening military and combat operations in the 24th Infantry battalion of the Philippine Army based in Abra, Mr. Castillo said their watch now includes Ilocos Norte.

The 81st IB will now also cover the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union.

Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte re-declared war against members of the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines, including anybody who is coddling or protecting these terrorists.

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