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The commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army said that the arrival of the 2nd Negros Island Geographical Battalion would complement ongoing efforts by existing government security forces to keep the peace.

Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, 3rd ID chief, announced this during the activation of the 2nd Negros Island Geographical Battalion at ceremonies Wednesday afternoon at the Ninoy Aquino Freedom Park in Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental.

A day ahead of Wednesday’s ceremonies, the 1st Negros Island Geographical Battalion was also activated in Negros Occidental.

Headed by Maj. Eugie Villan, the 2nd Negros Island Geographical Battalion of 600 members will be temporarily based at Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay, Negros Oriental, where the 79th Infantry Battalion is also based.

The priorities of both territorial battalions are to ensure the security resiliency of Negros Island and the whole of the Visayas under the control and supervision of the 3rd Infantry Division.

The four “serious enemies” of security that Maj. Gen. Aying highlighted were the insurgency threat posed by the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army, the threat of the extremist terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf, the proliferation of illegal drugs and the vulnerable targets of these three social problems.

“It is very glaring that we have already been attacked by the Abu Sayyaf Group in Bohol and it is a must that we must be able to be resilient or have that capacity to insulate us from Mindanao-based violent terrorism and extremism”, he said.

Aside from the anti-terror threat, the other tasks of the battalion in Negros Oriental will be to help fight the insurgency as posed by the Communist New People’s Army, to help fight criminality, especially the President’s war on drugs.

Maj. Gen. Aying lauded Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo for his consistent stand against all kinds of security threats and continued support to efforts of government security forces to keep the peace.

As a sign of gratitude for this, Maj. Gen. Aying said it was but fitting to give Gov. Degamo full military honors prior to the opening program of the activation of the 2nd Negros Island Geographical Battalion. (JFP/PNA)