NAGA CITY: Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief, Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla urged the country’s lawmakers to walk an extra mile to see to the needs of the people and other socio-economic problems where basic and regular services do not reach the countryside.
Quidilla said there are places in the country where the primary causes of insurgency are ignorance, poverty for lack of services and other socio-economic services which are being exploited by the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to agitate the masses and eventually recruit new members among them.
“I just want them to reach further especially in the countryside where regular and basic services are not being served and insurgency breeds. I shall soon leave the service. I would like to point out to you that these conflict-prone places are the same places that we knew since Gen. Orense and I were lieutenants a long long time ago,” he said.
Major Gen. Manolito Orense is the commanding general of the Army’s 9th Infantry Division, the AFP’s regional command based in Pili, Camarines Sur.
Quidilla also thanked the members of media for their continuing support of the Armed Forces that was able to accomplish its goals in the fight against the government enemy for a better Southern Luzon.
He said they have cleared former enemy guerrilla bases by dismantling the politico-military structures of the CPP-NPA in 58 barangay (villages).
Under his watch, the Solcom suffered setbacks as 37 personnel – 25 soldiers, seven Cafgu members and five policemen – were wounded in action
On the other side, Quidilla said they have reduced the enemy manpower by 106 people – 30 killed, 22 captured and 54 surrendered – and recovered numerous high-powered firearms after armed encounters.
“The net effect of the quantifiable results of our military operations and the non-quantifiable impact of various programs on development support operations allowed us to declare Quezon province and Oriental Mindoro as conflict-manageable and ready for further development,” he added.