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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, January 28, 2011
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‘No demoralization in army’

The Philippine Army yesterday debunked claims of creeping demoralization within the military organization, in connection with the implementation of Internal Peace and Security “Oplan Bayanihan”, as it maintained that the morale of solders remains high.

Army spokesman Col. Antonio Parlade said the claim that Oplan Bayanihan, a new campaign plan of the AFP to address the 40-year-old insurgency problem, will completely shut combat operations against the New People’s Army, is not true.

Parlade said army officers and enlisted personnel are in high spirits because they know that they will experience a little reprieve in combat operations through Oplan Bayanihan.

While traditional military approach continues to be utilized, the army will also further enhance their civil military work, with local government units and agencies, as stipulated in the Oplan Bayanihan campaign plan, he added.

Insurgency, as well as any socio-economic conditions that breed discontent, is a multi-dimensional problem that cannot be solved by military solutions alone, but by the collective efforts of multi-sectoral stakeholders, Parlade said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Ramil Bitong, 11th Infantry Battalion commander, reported yesterday that 4,219 residents in the first district of Negros Oriental have availed of the 10-day medical mission, which was a joint effort of the Philippine Army, Rep. Jocelyn Limcaichong (Neg. Or., 1st District), Canada Medical Mission Team, provincial government, and the local government unit of La Libertad.

Bitong said the weeklong activity, held at the La Libertad Convention Center, rendered free medical services such as operation of  mass, cyst cleft lip palate, cataract and goiter removal, dental, circumcision, minor surgeries, as well as medical consultations, on top of distribution of medicines.

Believing in the sincerity of the objective of the Oplan Bayanihan, Parlade said soldiers will obediently carry out the program.*GPB

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