AFP Declares Quirino Free of Insurgency

Manila Bulletin, March 14, 2010 | Go to article overview
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AFP Declares Quirino Free of Insurgency


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has declared that the entire Quirino province in Central Luzon had already been freed of communist insurgency, with a military official saying that there are at least 25 more provinces that are expected to follow before the second quarter of this year ends.Quirino province has been a traditional stronghold of the New People's Army (NPA) but Brigadier General Francisco Cruz, Jr., commander of the military's Civil Relations Service (CRS), said they have already reduced the rebel's strength to an insignificant level this year.Cruz said the task of conducting operations against the NPA was already turned over to the provincial government of Quirino and its police units in a ceremony last week."The CTM (communist terrorist movement) threat to the province’s stability, peace and order was significantly reduced and relegated to inconsequential level which means that the prevailing security situation is within the capacity and function of law enforcement," said Cruz, quoting an excerpt of the signed agreement."With the formal turnover, the provincial government has assumed the lead role in securing the province against any attempt of the NPA to once again infiltrate the province," said Cruz in a statement.He attributed the success of freeing Quirino not only to combat operations but also to development projects which financed livelihood programs even to former rebels."The success in making Quirino province insurgency free came through the combined efforts of the AFP and other stakeholders not only by the use of force alone but also by advocating peace and fostering development," he said.But Cruz was quick to clarify that the purging of NPA in Quirino does not mean that they would pull out its troops in the province, saying elements of the Army's 502nd Brigade will remain in the area.

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