Bacolod: Army battalion returns to Negros


Bacolod City – The Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion is back in Negros Island.

This is because Bohol, where the 47IB and 302nd Infantry Brigade used to be assigned, has been declared as insurgency-free, disclosed last night by Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, the commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command.

The remaining troopers of 47IB and its equipment arrived on Monday night at the Dumaguete port in Negros Oriental, on board Navy ship BRP Bacolod.

Maj. Cenon Pancito, spokesman of the Special Joint Task Force Negros (SJTFN), said that the 47IB, which forms part of the task force, will have its temporary headquarters in the boundary of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, and Mabinay, Negros Oriental.

The SJTFN has been tasked to account the suspects in the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo, dismantle private armed groups, and to help return normalcy in Negros Oriental.

The return of 47IB to Negros Island brings to six, the number of Army battalions assigned in Negros Island, which are under the supervision of 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigades.

A battalion sized unit is composed of about 500 men.

Pancito believes that the SJTFN contributed to the surrender of the remaining suspects in the armed attack and killing of Gov. Degamo and eight others on March 4, inside his residential compound in Pamplona, Negros Oriental, where 17 others were also injured.

Following the return of 47IB to Negros, Task Group Bohol was organized by VISCOM, which is composed of a mixture of Army’s Special Forces troopers and Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit, to maintain the gains of the AFP in Bohol island.

Prior to its deployment in Bohol several years ago, the 47IB headquarters were in Brgy. Tiling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, which is currently occupied by the 15th Infantry Battalion. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)

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