NPA continues to lose ‘footholds’ in southern Mindanao

Politics

The series of surrenders of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) fighters last week indicates that the rebels’ Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) are “on the losing end.”

In a statement Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) commander, also said the series of discoveries of arms caches was a clear manifestation that SMRC continues to lose footholds in areas under its influence.

“This is due to the relentless focused military operations (FMO) of Eastmincom to fully curb the remaining NPA strongholds before June 2022,” Almerol said.

Almerol also pointed to the growing number of NPA casualties as was an indication of the populace’s desire to end the local communist armed conflict.

Recently, he said 15 NPA fighters and supporters, including four Milisya ng Bayan members, surrendered to Eastmincom troops following the series of setbacks of several NPA units.

In addition, soldiers discovered last week various arms caches composed of high-powered firearms and other war matériel in various areas in Davao de Oro.

“Their days are counted. We are optimistic that we can achieve our goal to put an end to the communist armed conflict in Eastern Mindanao before our deadline,” Almerol said.

Almerol reiterated his call to the NPA remnants to surrender and avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“More of your former comrades are now surrendering to live peaceful lives. We assure you that you will be well-provided with unwavering assistance through the E-CLIP,” the Eastmincom commander said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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