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Monday, April 22, 2024

Misamis Occidental declared insurgency-free

The province of Misamis Occidental (MisOcc) is now free from rebels, according to national and local officials. This is the result of successful military operations bolstered by local government initiatives.

Philippine Army (PA) Major General Gabriel C. Viray, Commander of the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division announced the official declaration together with MisOcc Governor Henry S. Oaminal Sr., whom the former also commended for the province’s support for anti-insurgency measures.

“I want you to know the significant effort that was made under Governor Oaminal’s leadership in dismantling Guerilla Front Sendong,” Viray remarked. “Thanks to his guidance and support to our units, especially the 10th Infantry Battalion, the 102nd Brigade, and the 1st Infantry TABAK Division, the province allocated funds as a reward for those who facilitated the surrender or neutralization of these rebels.”

Over the last year, the provincial government of Misamis Occidental stepped up its efforts to facilitate the peaceful surrender of rebels, offering incentives such as financial rewards or livelihood packages for their return to the community.

“This allocation expedited our operations, fostered greater cooperation among the populace, and bolstered the efforts of our units on the ground,” Viray added, “to dismantle the last remaining guerrilla front in the [Zamboanga] Peninsula and Misamis Occidental.”

After the dismantling of the final rebel group in December last year, Viray continued, the province is now insurgency-free. The declaration was signed on March 3, 2024 by the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and approved on March 11, 2024.

The declaration was made during the assumption of command ceremony for Oaminal, as he succeeded Lt. Col. Jaime G. Cajigas as the new battalion commander of the 903rd Misamis Occidental Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (RRIBn).

In a statement, Oaminal shared his gratitude for “the opportunity to cooperate and collaborate with our military forces, for our common goal of peace and order in every community.”

“This milestone is a testament to the strength of our unity, and what we can achieve when we lead and work with it in our minds and our hearts,” Oaminal said.

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