Bohol Counter-Insurgency Experts

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Ligalig-Mike

Bohol Counter-Insurgency Experts
« on: January 27, 2008, 04:27:09 PM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu
PIA - Bohol

Bohol counter-insurgency experts from the military’s 302nd Brigade would be in for their biggest test, to see if their Bohol experience also works in Negros and Panay islands.

This as the now Carmen Bohol based 302nd Brigade is up for a transfer, this time in another counter-insurgency assignment with its mother unit, the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), in Panay.

“The movement is basically in support of the President’s timeline of ending local insurgency by 2010,” sources from the military command here confirmed.

Bohol and Cebu islands, which were then part of the 3ID area of operation has now been transferred and forms an integral part of the Samar based 802nd Brigade.

In line with this, by March, the 802nd Brigade assumes jurisdictional control of Bohol and Cebu, rumors from the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting revealed.

Furthermore, while Bohol majored on civil-military cooperation as bannered in its convergence program, 302nd Bde elements would be facing a slightly different war with the Negros based rejectionist communists in Panay.

Continuing for the Bohol anti-insurgency efforts would be the 802nd Brigade including the 42nd Infantry Battalion from Samar and the civil-military operations tested men of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, government sources said .

It may be recalled that Bohol counter-insurgency experience became a national template after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo allowed its replicating in Sulu and Basilan, where the 2nd SF Bn applied the Bohol formula last year.
 
But even as this surfaced, radio commentators here have continually asked: is Bohol that free from the grasp of the insurgents as local officials have claimed, to be left to a practically new unit?

At the PPOC meeting, 302nd BDE Commander Colonel Cesar Yano reported that communist terrorist movement activities dwindled from 57 enemy sightings in July-September to just 18 in October-December of 2007. He also pointed out that there was just one violent encounter in February last year.

On the weakening of the insurgents, military intelligence operatives have pointed that the enemy is into “issue based” white area activities such as rallies and demonstrations, one that could easily be addressed by deliberate and aggressive government information campaigns. 

League of Municipalities of the Philippines Bohol Chapter Chairman and Jagna Mayor Exuperio Lloren, who aired his apprehension of another breed of unfamiliar forces during the meeting however got assurances from the command.

Col. Yano who pointed out the success as a result from total convergence approach and the excellent leadership at various local government unit levels, assured that he would personally brief the incoming forces and their commanders of the Bohol situation and the current drives they wanted to be pursued further.

Moreover, the military commander recommended that the local government units be strengthening their communities so they could monitor and report the possible re-entry of the communists who have fled Bohol in the past.


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