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AFP chief hopeful of ‘total victory’ vs NPA in Visayas by year end

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

AFP chief of staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. being welcomed by Negrense Brig. Gen. Michael Samson (right) and 301st Infantry Brigade officers at Camp Hernandez, in Dingle, Iloilo.* PA photo

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. expressed his optimism of achieving a “total victory” against remnants of the New People’s Army in Visayas, by year end.

In his twin visits to the Visayas Command in Cebu, and 301st Infantry Brigade headquarters in Iloilo on Thursday, Brawner ordered both commanders to continue their operations to eliminate the threat of communist insurgency.

“And we are very hopeful and optimistic that by the end of the year 2024, ay talagang ma-achieve natin ang (we can really achieve) total victory and we can defeat the communists here in VISCOM,” he said.

Brawner said he is happy with the progress of the campaign in the Visayas area, which became a “priority command” for the AFP, and “was allocated significant resources to dismantle remaining guerilla fronts, neutralize high-value individuals, and build people’s organizations.

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division has already recommended declaring Negros Island in a state of Stable Internal Peace and Security, following the dismantling of all five NPA guerilla fronts. However, the focused operations against rebel remnants are conducted without let up, according to the 3ID.

Brawner also lauded Viscom’s and 301st Infantry Brigade officers and enlisted personnel for their accomplishments.

These accomplishments, he said, are aligned with the AFP’s overall campaign strategy, which is focused on defeating the NPA remnants.

VISCOM is led by Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, while Negrense Brig. Gen. Michael Samson commands the 301st Infantry Brigade in Panay.

During his talk to 301st Infantry Brigade troops, Brawners said “There is no right time to do the wrong thing, and there is no wrong time to do the right thing. The moment you are doing the wrong thing, then everything will be astray. Everything will not be in the right direction. Always do good every time because it is the basic foundation of our career.”

He also encouraged the troops to perform their duties and responsibilities with discipline and pride as part of the AFP.*

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