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Army commander declares Eastern Visayas as free from communist guerrilla influence

TACLOBAN CITY (PIA) – A top military official in Eastern Visayas said on Wednesday, January 17, that the region is now guerrilla front-free.

Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said this during the Kapihan sa PIA Eastern Visayas which was held at the DILG-8 Training Center in this city.

Ligayo’s announcement backed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s statement released earlier this month stating that there are no more active guerrilla fronts in the country.

“Dito sa Eastern Visayas, wala na. Ang ibig sabahin nito wala na silang hawak na barangay, lahat ng barangays ay cleared na sa mga CTGs, so wala ng barangay na hawak nila,” Ligayo explained.

(Here in Eastern Visayas, it's over. This means they no longer have control over any barangay; all barangays have been cleared of CTGs, so they no longer hold any barangay.)

Major General Camilo Z. Ligayo, commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, calls on the local government units to continue their efforts and support to end local communist armed conflict in the region through good governance. This he said during the Kapihan sa PIA Eastern Visayas on Wednesday, January 17. (Photo: PIA-8)

After the remaining active guerrilla fronts were dismantled in Northern Samar in 2023, the left-wing organization in the region was weakened.

However, Ligayo admitted that 119 armed CTG members are still scattered and roaming around in different areas in Region 8.

Ligayo underscored that the success of the anti-insurgency campaign in the region can be attributed to the operationalization of Executive Order No. 70 or the whole-of-nation approach of the Regional Task Force against Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-8 ELCAC) composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, national government agencies, local governments units, private sector, and other stakeholders.  

MGen. Camilo Ligayo, commander of the 8th Infantry Division and Lt. Col. Jomar Buban, assistant chief of staff for Civil Military Operations, share the accomplishments and ongoing efforts of the Regional Task Force 8 to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF8 ELCAC) during the live Kapihan sa PIA Eastern Visayas on Wednesday, January 17. (Photo: PIA-8)

Data from the Philippine Army showed that from January 1 to December 31, 2023, a total of 1,065 members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) were neutralized in the region, including 14 high-ranking CTG leaders.

Out of the figure, 164 regular members have surrendered,  28 were killed, and 13 were apprehended in 380 total combat operations.

Among those who were also neutralized were the 228 Yunit Militia/Militia ng Bayan members, 270 Underground  Mass Organization (UGMO) members, 199 mass supporters, and the 163 Batakang sa Organisasyon sa Partido (BOP) members who withdrew support or membership.

Ligayo assured the people of Eastern Visayas that the RTF8 ELCAC is continuously working to attain long-lasting peace and development in the region. (AAC/CBA/PIA-8)

About the Author

Consuelo Alarcon


Region 8

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