News and UpdatesIn the NewsViscom to deploy 2 combat helicopters in Negros Oriental

Viscom to deploy 2 combat helicopters in Negros Oriental

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Camp Lapulapu, Cebu City – To further enhance its security efforts for the upcoming Barangay and SK Elections in Negros Oriental, the Visayas Command will deploy two (2) combat utility helicopters to augment the ground forces in the province.

“The deployment of the two (2) air assets in Negros Oriental is part of our contingency in case any hostile incidents may occur, especially during transport of the election returns after the voting period. These air assets aim to provide immediate close air support to our ground troops who will respond to these incidents,” Lieutenant General Benedict M Arevalo PA, the Commander of VISCOM emphasized.

The two (2) combat utility helicopters is comprised of one (1) Blackhawk and one (1) Bell Helicopter. These air assets will be pre-positioned at Camp Leon Kilat in Tanjay City and will be placed under the operational control of the 302nd Infantry Brigade.

Lt Gen Arevalo added “We don’t want to take any chances. We know that the peace and order situation in Negros Oriental is now stable and very much under control by the government. We just want the people to feel safe and secure as they cast their votes and ensure that the upcoming electoral process will be successful”.

Security in Negros Oriental for the BSKE 2023 tightens as the government continues to pour in additional forces. It can be recalled that on October 18, an additional of 181 troops composed of AFP personnel from VISCOM, PNP personnel from PRO7, and personnel from Coast Guard District – Central Visayas arrived in the province to render duty during the election. These are apart from the security forces that are already assigned in the province.

At present, a total of 2,719 AFP personnel have already been deployed in the province. 1,285 of whom are currently conducting focused military operations at the outskirt communities in the province, to deter and prevent the CPP-NPA from conducting hostilities that may disrupt the electoral process in these areas. 1,394 of whom are currently being deployed to support the PNP in sustaining the COMELEC checkpoints, secure the polling centers during the election, and secure the transport of election paraphernalia. The remaining 40 Officers and personnel are deployed to man the Election Monitoring Action Centers (EMAC) and the Joint Security Control Center (JSCC) in the province.

Lt Gen Arevalo concluded as he reaffirmed their commitment to ensure the success of the BSKE in Negros Oriental, “The objectives are simple: ensure the safety and security of our people as well as the success of the Barangay and SK Elections in Negros Oriental. Rest assured that we will never waver in our efforts, and we will never rest until our objectives are achieved.”

As announced by the COMELEC, Negros Oriental is placed under COMELEC control for the duration of the election period. It has nine (9) election watchlist areas; 1 of which is categorized as an Area of Concern due to intense political rivalry, while the other eight (8) are categorized as Areas of Immediate Concern due to reported sightings of the CPP-NPA.

 

 

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