BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The dismantling of the Northern Negros Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/ Siquijor does not mean complacency for the 79th Infantry Battalion in the conduct of operations against its remnants, its new commander, Lt. Col J-Jay Javines, said yesterday.
Javines, who took over the 79IB command from Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, in a ceremony yesterday at its headquarters in Brgy. Bato, Sagay City, said the New People’s Army recovery efforts and tactical offensives are becoming imminent, as he noted that they have become increasingly aggressive.
“Hence, we should be able to lay out a comprehensive and integrated security plan, to protect and sustain the gains of our development support and security operations, to render them inconsequential, if not totally irrelevant,” Javines stressed at the turnover ceremony, that was presided over by Maj. Gen. Eric Vinuya, 3rd Infantry Division commander, and witnessed by Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, among other supporters.
To fulfill these tasks is clearly not a walk in the park, Javines, who is a Silaynon, said. “In fact, this has become excruciatingly challenging and demanding, especially with our expanded roles, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and sustainment of Executive Order 70, or the National Task Force – Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict,” he also said.
Javines added his priorities are anchored on mission accomplishment and the morale and welfare of personnel.
“To be two steps ahead of the game, we should enhance our ability to achieve greater situational awareness, be dynamic, and flexible enough to adjust quickly to address emerging security threats,” he added.
Vinuya and Pasaporte presented to Alvaran the 3ID and 303IB command plaques, respectively, in recognition of his outstanding performance as 79IB commander for one year and two months.
Alvaran, for his part, thanked the officials and communities in northern Negros for their all-out support in attaining his mission, among them the dismantling of the Northern Negros Front.
Vinuya said he has high expectations on the skills and abilities of Javines to lead the 79th Infantry (Masaligan) Battalion, and urged him to continue the unfinished task in northern Negros.
“Sustain our gains and ensure that all communities will be completely insulated from the recovery efforts of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” he told Javines.
“We cannot afford to lose the things that we achieved and gained here in northern Negros. You have to hit the ground running, reinvigorate the will of the Masaligan troopers to fight, and continue to inspire them to achieve greater heights, as your immediate predecessor did,” Vinuya added.
Do not let us down, he stressed. The South East Front of KR-NCBS was declared by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command to have been dismantled late last year, with three more NPA guerilla fronts up for dismantling by the 302nd and 303rd IBs in Negros Island.*