With the goal to crush rebels remaining stronghold

FINAL PUSH? Soldiers from the 802nd Infantry Brigade, under the leadership of B/Rep.Noel Vestuir(back of the camera) has been deployed to Eastern Samar, completing all three brigades under the 8th Infantry Division deployed on Samar Island. The move is seen to finally crush the rebels on the island, considered the last bastion of the communist armed group in Eastern Visayas.
(Photo Courtesy 802nd IB)

TACLOBAN CITY – In yet another push to totally stump the insurgency problem on Samar Island, the 802nd Infantry Brigade was relocated from their Leyte assignment.
The brigade, which was previously based in Ormoc City and headed by Gen. Noel Vestuir, was deployed to Eastern Samar early this month.

Government troops on Samar Island again increased their number after the 802nd Brigade was transferred to Eastern Samar from Leyte province.

The relocation of the government troops to Eastern Samar has no other purpose but to deliver a message to the communist rebels, the New People’s Army (NPA): to see them end their armed struggle against the government.

“We are here to help the campaign of ending the local communist armed conflict on Samar Island,” Brigadier General Noel Vestuir, the 802nd brigade commander, said in an interview.
“Our brigade area of operation covers the southern part of Samar Island from Hinabangan on the west and Taft from the east going down south,” he informed.

Although they already left Leyte Island, Vestuir assured that the presence of government troops will still be felt in the provinces of Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte since the two battalions with camps in Leyte province, the 93rd IB in Kananga, and 14th IB in Mahaplag will continue to operate.

He added that the Joint Task Group Tandaya headed by 8th ID assistant division commander BGen Perfecto Peñaredondo will supervise the military operations in Leyte.
“We will do our best. Just like what we did in Leyte, we maintained a peaceful environment and negate the remnants of the CPP-NPA-NDF to do harm to our people,” Vestuir added.
With the deployment of the 802nd IB to Eastern Samar, all three brigades under the 8th Infantry Division are now operating on Samar Island.

The 801st IB is based in Hinabangan town, Samar whose operations cover some parts of Samar and the Pacific towns of Northern Samar province, and the 803rd Brigade based in Catarman town which covers the rest of Northern Samar province.

Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th ID, earlier said that they target to see the end of the insurgency problem of the region by the end of this year.
Ligayo said that there are only two communist guerilla fronts being operated by the communist rebels which are all located in Northern Samar, considered the last bastion of communist insurgency in Eastern Visayas.