BACOLOD CITY, June 21 (PNA) — The 303rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army has intensified its operations in Negros Occidental in preparation for the rise of New People’s Army’s (NPA) attacks during “tiempos muertos” or lean months.
Based on their experience, 303rd IB Commander Col. Jon Aying said there is a significant increase in the volume of crimes from June to September when sugar mills are closed.
Aying said they have so far deployed soldiers near haciendas in southern and northern districts to heighten their visibility.
Of the areas covered, Aying disclosed that they are concentrating their anti-insurgency efforts in the first district of the province where the NPA’s Boy Gatmaitan command is based.
He also said they are coordinating closely with the mayors of San Carlos City, Escalante City, Calatrava, Toboso and Don Salvador Benedicto in this pro-active measure.
Even Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Congressman Julio Ledesma IV are well-informed of their operations, he said.
Meanwhile, Aying also issued statements in reaction to the temporary closure of Philex Mining Corp. in Sipalay City due to NPA atrocities.
Aying admitted that though they are aggressive in their operations, they lack soldiers to secure every corner of the province.
“Philex can either request our national headquarters for additional soldiers to patrol southern Negros or organize its own special Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) to augment its private guards,” he said.