Army beefs up forces in southern Isabela, Quirino vs NPA
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (18 July) -- The Philippine Army is augmenting and strengthening its forces in several towns in Isabela and Quirino provinces to address the alarming insurgency activities in the area.
Lt. Colonel Benjamin Laguardia, commanding officer of the army's 54th infantry battalion here said they are presently focusing their anti-insurgency operations in southern Isabela area and several villages in Quirino province.
He said they have also set-up additional detachment of Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) in these areas to intensify and strengthen their control over the villages and quash the remaining communist rebels.
According to Laguardia, remnants of New People's Army under the Southern Front of Cagayan Valley which operates in southern Isabela and Quirino provinces has only 21 armed fighters headed by Martin Dulado alias Jacob, Mael or Elmo.
"We are launching destruction, dismantling and containment operations against them," Laguradia said.
He said they are expecting to complete their eradication in these areas by the end of the year in response to the order of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to totally wipe out insurgency by the year 2010. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]