In his visit to Northern Samar

END OF INSURGENCY. Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., sees the end of the insurgency in Northern Samar and the rest of Eastern Visayas during his visit to the headquarters of the 803rd IB based in Catarman on Friday (July 14). Photo shows the Commander-in-Chief joining a boodle fight with soldiers led by Major Gen. Camilo Ligayon, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, Governors Sharee Ann Tan of Samar and Edwin Ongchuan of Northern Samar; Rep. Marcelino Libanan, and Tacloban City Mayor and chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council Alfred Romualdez.(ALFRED ROMUALDEZ FACEBOOK)

CATARMAN, Northern Samar– President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said that he is confident that the decades-long insurgency problem in Eastern Visayas will come to its end within this year.

The President made this declaration during a security briefing held during his visit to Northern Samar on Friday (July 14).

Northern Samar is considered by the military as the last bastion of communist insurgents in the region.

“I just received the briefing on the success rate sa ating pagbuwag, sa ating pag-dismantle ng mga front, pag-weaken ng mga ibang front. And I was also given a very encouraging deadline that masabi natin that we will have dismantled all of the CTG (communist terrorist groups) fronts by the end of the year and that is the result of your good work,” Marcos said.

“From the progress being made in Northern Samar, we are looking forward to declaring that province clear of CTGs by the end of the year,” he added.

Among those who attended the security briefing held inside the 803rd Infantry Brigade headquarters based in Catarman town were Major Gen.Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division/General Efren Morados, the commanding officer of the 803rd IB; and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, cousin of the President who is the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC).

Also present were Governors Edwin Ongchuan of Northern Samar and Sharee Ann Tan of Samar.

The said briefing, held after the President led in the opening of the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project and giving of assistance to farmers and fisherfolks and students of cash assistance and equipment, was closed to the media. The briefing lasted less than an hour, it was learned.

The President, who joined in a boodle fight during his visit to the military camp, commended the soldiers in the region, particularly those assigned in Northern Samar, for their efforts to end the insurgency problem.

The presence of the New People’s Army, the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has often cited as among the factors why the province remains to be poor as investors shy away due to security concerns.

Marcos said that he hope his next visit to the province will be on the declaration of Northern Samar as insurgency-free.

“Patuloy ang pagpaganda ng sitwasyon dito at I am very, very impatient already to come back here and to be with you when we declare your area of operation clear of any CTG formations, any CTG groups,” he said.

“And that will be a big, big blow to the enemy forces because they have always felt that Northern Samar is a place that they feel safe in,” Marcos added.

Marcos also challenged the 803rd IB to strive to bring all the rebels back into the fold of the law as he assured them of the government’s full support and assistance upon their return.
“So, that is the plan. This is how we are going to move forward but this is all founded, it is all based, on the continuing good work that you put in every day,” he added.

Despite their accomplishments, Pres. Marcos reminded the 803rd IB not to let its guard down as he lauded its victory against communist rebels in Northern Samar.

“You are still now in Northern Samar, on the frontline. Kaya’t do not let your guard down. Continue to do what you have been doing dahil, as I said, it has been successful, it has been effective and we can see that from the weakening of the enemy forces,” President Marcos, who is the commander-in-chief of the country’s security forces, said.

The 803rd IB has been instrumental in degrading the strength of CTGs in the region with the surrender of over 6,200 of its sympathizers and personalities, and the dismantling of two guerilla fronts in Northern Samar.

“We have seen…..the increase in the firearms that have been neutralized and also the personalities that have been neutralized. Let us continue that trend,” the chief executive said.

Military officials in Eastern Visayas earlier said that they are optimistic that the insurgency problem in the region would come to its end by the end of the year with only Northern Samar is where there is a presence of a guerilla front.