ILOILO City – The target is to end the insurgency by 2020, according to Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, new commander of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) which operates in the islands of Panay and Negros.
The Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has two options only, according to Vinoya: surrender and live peacefully or die for the “wrong principles.”
Vinoya replaced Major General Dinoh Dolina who officially retired yesterday. The turnover of command was held at Camp Peralta, the headquarters of the 3ID in Jamindan, Capiz.
“If you don’t surrender, expect more combat encounters in the next few weeks. All military units in our area of responsibility will be utilized to hunt you and hit you very hard,” he warned the rebels.
The 3ID troops must deal with seven rebel fronts operating in 87 barangays, said Vinoya, who had served as commander of Task Force Negros that ran after rebels in that island prior to becoming the 3ID assistant division commander.
“We will do our best to meet the 2020 deadline,” said Vinoya.
He appealed for support from local chief executives and the public in general.
“We must be more aggressive, proactive and purposive in our efforts,” said Vinoya, citing President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 on the whole-of-nation approach to end the insurgency.
Good governance is key to ending the rebellion, he stressed, thus mayors and governors must “do their part…by ensuring that their mandate is carried out as expected.”
To the rebels, he further said, “You still have a chance to leave the armed movement and go back to the fold of law enjoying true freedom and various government basic services together with your loved ones.”
Vinoya is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Hinirang” Class of 1987.
“I am calling the leaders and members of the NPA to surrender now or suffer the full force of the Spearhead Troopers,” he said.
Vinoya vowed to continue the programs of previous 3ID commanders and sustain the gains made, particularly in the anti-insurgency campaign.
“I am determined to accomplish the mission given me using the full force of the Philippine Army. We are really serious in ending the insurgency. It is a menace to society,” he said.
Meanwhile, Major General Dinoh Dolina thanked “all the people in the region, the local governments and stakeholders for the support given me for nearly two years of leadership here.”
He became the 3ID commander on Dec. 29, 2017. As then assistant division commander, he replaced the retiring Major General Jon Aying (now mayor of Sara, Iloilo).
Dolina had been chief of the Army’s Office of the Legislative Affairs, General Headquarters.
A native of Palo, Leyte, he was a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1985 had two other brothers in the armed service.
His older brother was Police Chief Superintendent Asher Dolina, a graduate of PMA Class 1984 and Brigadier General Tirso Dolina, Philippine Army chaplain.
Dolina was a seasoned combat officer who rose from the ranks, being a platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander, and later as brigade commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade in Ormoc City, Leyte.
He had served various significant positions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to include being Chief of Staff of the General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command.
He was also the Chief of Morale and Welfare Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, G2, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)