By Sol Luzano
CAMP GUILLERMO NAKAR, Lucena City, Aug. 12 (PNA) — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Hernando Iriberri is challenging the AFP Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) to make its area of responsibility more inhospitable to the New People’s Army (NPA).p>”Win the peace, secure the peace in Southern Luzon and make it inhospitable for the NPAs,” Iriberri said during his visit to SOLCOM headquarters at Camp Guillermo Nakar here Tuesday.
Iriberri led a command conference attended by SOLCOM chief, Lieutenant General Ricardo R. Visaya; Army Infantry Division and Brigade commanders; the Deputy Commander of the Naval Forces Southern Luzon; and commanders of Tactical Operation Groups 4 and 5 of the Philippine Air Force.
Iriberri commended SOLCOM’s accomplishment and best practices that were adopted by the AFP.
Iriberri said SOLCOM must continue its efforts to deny the NPA its mass base support.
“Everything should be unfavorable for them,” he said.
Through this, the AFP chief believes that more NPA rebels will lay down their arms and return to the mainstream society.
At present, General Visaya said SOLCOM records show that the strength of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA) in the region is down to 530.
Also, the declaration of the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Sur, Albay and Rizal as Conflict Manageable and Ready for Further Development indicates that the civil authorities now recognize their role as the lead in orchestrating peace and security in their localities.
“In general, the peace and security situation in Southern Luzon remains favorable to socio-economic activities and development,” Visaya said. “Our quest for genuine peace is no longer a purely military endeavor but a shared responsibility by all stakeholders,” he said. (PNA)