By Julius Mariveles and Hannah Papasin
CAMP GERONA, Murcia, Negros Occidental – The Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade marked its 37th founding anniversary here amid high hopes that the Communist insurgency it has been confronting for more than half a century would soon be defeated.
Major General Marion Sison, Army Third Infantry Division commander, said for the first time in the half a century fight against the Communist insurgency, the Armed Forces has now focused its efforts in the Visayas, which includes Negros island.
Sison said the Third Division had been reaping recognition for its battlefield performance based mainly on the accomplishments of the 303rd that has recorded at least 30 armed engagements since the start of 2023.
Four of these combat actions initiated by the 94th and 62nd Battalions, he added, are historic for the Armed Forces as these have led to the death of four ranking Communist cadres including Kerima Tariman and Ericson Acosta – both deployed by the CPP national leadership to Negros island.
Also killed in combat were top Communist leaders Rogelio Posadas alias Ka Putin, secretary of the unified Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor Regional Committee, and Romeo Nanta alias Juanito Magbanua.
“This speaks well of our dedication and we won’t falter,” Colonel Eufracio “Jojo” Malig Jr, 303rd deputy commander, said about the anniversary’s theme “unwavering resolve in the pursuit of peace.”
Malig pointed out the Brigade has “improved immensely” not only in terms of facilities but also in fulfilling its mandate of securing Negros and its people “towards achieving lasting peace.”
He pointed out, however, that this can be credited to the National Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that is part of the government’s whole of nation approach adopted during the Duterte government.