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Benguet’s holistic WONA resulted to insurgency-free province – NOLCOM AFP

WONA

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – LIEUTENANT GENERAL FERNYL G BUCA PAF, Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), announced significant progress in countering insurgency in the region. The recent declaration of Benguet province as free from insurgency and Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) represents a notable achievement in the ongoing efforts to establish a lasting peace and security in North and Central Luzon.

During the 3rd Quarter Joint PPOC-PADAC-PAILTF Meeting on September 22, 2023, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) declared Benguet as an insurgency-free province. This declaration is supported by validations conducted by the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee of Northern Luzon (JAPIC-NL), which demonstrated that the 13 municipalities within Benguet have never been designated as affected areas or listed under CTG or insurgency categories. In response, the PPOC of these municipalities issued resolutions expressing their full support for the declaration of their respective areas as insurgency-free.

Furthermore, the most recent JAPIC Periodic Status Report Workshop for the 3rd Quarter of 2022 confirmed Benguet’s exclusion from the operational territory of the weakened Guerilla Front – AMPIS.

It is worth recalling that several other regions within NOLCOM‘s Joint Operational Area have successfully transitioned to states of stable peace and security. Ilocos Region was declared insurgency-free on February 25, 2022, Quirino Province followed suit on November 6, 2022, and Tarlac Province on June 23, 2023.

LTGEN BUCA expressed immense satisfaction with the progress in the Northern Region, attributing its success to the government’s holistic Whole-of-Nation Approach. The NOLCOM Commander issued a strong call to the remaining CTGs in the region, urging them to seize the opportunity to surrender and live peacefully together with their families while they still can. He reaffirmed that NOLCOM troops remain steadfast in their mission to eradicate communist insurgency in the region and will relentlessly pursue this goal.

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