Council allows Army in city

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Friday, March 27, 2015


MILITARY men will be visible in some barangays in the city after the Holy Week to conduct civic-military operations.

The City Council in a resolution passed Tuesday supported the civil military operations of combatants from the 82nd Infantry (Bantay Laya) Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Councilor Joshua Alim said they are definitely not combatants as charged by urban poor militant organizations here but rather champions and partners of the poor in the villages by doing chores such helping in the repair of barangay properties, hair cut to the male population, tooth extraction and rendering shiatsu massage, all free of charge.

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The military operation was temporarily suspended last week pending action of the City Council.

LtC Enriqueto Deocadez Jr, battalion commander of the 82nd Infantry (Bantay Laya) Battalion appeared before the council to shed light on their presence in the city barangays.

Military operations will resume after the Holy Week. It was first conducted in Barangays Calajunan, Mandurriao; Bitoon, Jaro; San Antonio, Molo; Mohon, Arevalo and Sambag, Jaro.

Deocadez said the Army outreach and Bayanihan barangay emersion program was presented to the Iloilo City Peace and Order Council chaired by City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog last January 2015.

Decocades admitted they are targeting 20 city barangays this year as their site of purely civil military operation and barangay emersion with a multi-sectoral participation of the PNP, health, education, city government and other organizations .

However, militant organizations Bayan Panay, Kaisog, Karapatan and Pamanggas claimed the Army soldiers are doing things other than civic actions which intimidated and harassed the barangay folks.

The militants said the Army soldiers are flushing out leaders of progressive organizations based in the barangays by charging these militants as communist-terrorists.

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