LAOAG CITY -— The Philippine Army (PA) Commanding Officer of the 81st Infantry Batalion Lt. Col. Eugenio Osias clarified Wednesday that the province of Ilocos Norte remains free of insurgency.
Based on assessment the PA conducted recently in the mountainous town of Solsona where residents reported sightings of New People’s Army, Osias clarified what they saw were “not sightings but just passing by elements” due to nearby operations in Abra province.
As of the moment, he said the PA is strengthening the boundaries of Solsona, Nueva Era, Adams and Pagudpud towns to prevent re-entry of rebels.
“Generally speaking, there is no structure of New People’s Army or communist movement here. What we do now is to prevent them from re-entering Ilocos Norte,” Osias said.
He added they are in close coordination with the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies for the protection against terrorism.
Earlier, law enforcers scaled the upland areas of Vintar to verify sighting of suspected New People’s Army rebels in remote villages of Ilocos Norte. LGA/PNA-northboundasia.com