Army, PPOC declare Davao Oriental as ‘insurgency free’

Military officials and the provincial government of Davao Oriental have declared the province as insurgency-free during a meeting of the provincial peace and order council (PPOC) on Monday.

A statement from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said the council unanimously approved Resolution Number 1 series of 2022 that declared Davao Oriental as already clear of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels following the dismantling of three rebel guerilla fronts.

These are the Guerilla Fronts South, North and 18, which were dismantled on April 18, 2021, June 20, 2021 and September 15, 2022 respectively. All three NPA fronts have previously operated in Davao Oriental.

At least 108 rebels were also neutralized and 109 firearms were seized by security forces in the province from the third quarter of 2019 up to Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Oliver Maquiling, commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, said the successful counterinsurgency campaign was due to the convergence of government agencies in implementing various peace and development programs in Davao Oriental.

Governor Corazon Malanyaon, the military said, viewed the clearing of the province of NPA rebels as very timely, especially now that Davao Oriental is aggressively promoting its tourism potential.

“We have what it takes to be a premier tourist destination, and Davao Oriental is worth visiting. But we also have to consider that the tourism industry is too sensitive to peace and order,” Malanyaon said.

Major Gen. Nolasco A. Mempin, 10th Infantry Division commander, commended the overwhelming support of Davao Oriental and the aggressive actions initiated by the military that paved the way for the defeat of communist rebels in the province.

“We are now witnessing history. All of our provinces here in Davao Region were declared insurgency-free. Now, I urge everyone to continue our efforts and not rest on our laurels. We will continue to push further towards the attainment of sustainable development in the whole region,” Mempin said.