The new commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army affirmed his pledge to pursue the Army’s peacekeeping efforts in the hinterlands of Negros Oriental.
Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who recently assumed his post as the 3ID commander, gave his assurance to continue with the “Oplan Bayanihan” campaign to achieve peace during his May 18 courtesy call to Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo at the Capitol in Dumaguete City.
The general, accompanied by 302nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Manuel Ochotorena, sat down with the governor for nearly an hour and a half during which they talked about ongoing infrastructure projects in hinternland communities, the Army’s Bayanihan campaign and the peace and order situation in the province.
Gov. Degamo, during the interchange, reiterated the provincial government’s support to the Army’s peace and order efforts. “We have always had a good relationship with the Army and also the police,” the governor told Gen. Bautista.
The discussion also touched on how the provincial government and the Army can work together to bring basic services to hinterlands. “Insurgency is not the solution to our problems,” Degamo said.
The general echoed the governor’s statement in a media interview following his courtesy call, as he also stressed that insurgents need to put down their arms so that real development can take place especially in the far-flung communities.
Gen. Bautista, prior to taking over the post left by Maj. Gen. Vicente Porto, was the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations during which he led the formulation of the new Internal Peace and Security Plan dubbed “Bayanihan” now being implemented nationwide by the Army.