COLONEL Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, declared on Wednesday that the government is winning the peace in Negros while the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels continue to lost their ground and hold over the masses in the countryside.
Aying issued the statement during a press conference after the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center meeting held at the conference room of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Noppo) headquarters in Bacolod City.
Aying said the multi-dimensional approach, which is not only limited to military solution, has helped a lot in “liberating” the masses from the influence of the NPA rebels.
For this year alone, the Army has recorded 118 atrocities perpetuated by the NPA rebels which included human rights violations.
Aying said that in some areas in the first district particularly in the Escalante, Toboso and Calatrava hinterlands, the NPA rebels are trying the regain their lost territories “liberated” through the “Marching for Peace, Serving the Countryside,” a joint project of the Provincial Government, the Philippine Army through the 303rd IB and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office under the Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit (Pro-PIDU).
Meanwhile, Aying debunked the claims of the New People’s Army (NPA) Leonardo Panaligan Command that the encounter in Barangay Dian-ay, Escalante City a few weeks earlier was a misencounter between government troops and members of the RPA-ABB.
According to the Army, the clash resulted to the death of an NPA rebel and the wounding of an Army lieutenant.
Aying presented to the media “Ka Reymar” of the RPA-ABB who claimed that there are no RPA-ABB members in the area where the encounter occurred because it is not included in their areas of operation.