CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The intensified focused military operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against communist terrorists New People’s Army (NPA) continue to reap success as 52 members surrendered to the government fold in September, Colonel Edgard A Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief said Sunday, 01 October 2017.
“The surge of NPA surrenders over the past month is a positive result of the AFP’s robust and incessant combined intelligence, combat, and civil-military operations. It is also a product of the active cooperation of our stakeholders, particularly of the support given by the communities and local government units within our areas of operation,” Colonel Arevalo said.
On 27 September 20, seven (7) communist terrorists voluntarily surrendered to the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan in Zamboanga Sibugay. The NPA members yielded to the troops of the 102nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine at the headquarters in Barangay Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay at Wednesday morning. Becsala, Mandaw, and Maghanaoy turned-over two (2) AK47 rifles and a Caliber .45 Remington.
Nine (9) other communist terrorists surrendered in Sultan Kudarat on 23 September 2017. They voluntarily presented themselves to troops of the 33rd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc. They brought along with them six (6) improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
More Surrenders Expected
The AFP sees the trend of surrender by the NPA as indicative of the dwindling CPP-NPA-NDF organization. In a statement, Colonel Arevalo said the AFP is expecting more surrenders from the NPA in the coming months.
“It is apparent through the statement of those who surrendered that their comrades are now experiencing hardships within their organization, and they are willing to avail of the opportunities being offered by the government to former NPA rebels,” Colonel Arevalo stated.
The government is offering immediate financial and livelihood assistance to former NPA rebels under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
Former NPAs who surrendered firearms will also be given corresponding amounts with additional capital for their livelihood to help them go back to mainstream communities.
“At present, the AFP has already neutralized 566 communist terrorists since the termination of peace talks on February 4, 2017. Of which, 378 voluntarily surrendered to military units or to the local government units within North-eastern Mindanao,” Colonel Arevalo said.
In carrying out combat operations, troops were able to kill 118 NPA fighters and arrested 70 members. A total of 159 firearms were also recovered while 133 were surrendered or turned over by the enemy.
“The leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines salutes our brave soldiers on the field who continue to risk their lives in order to stop the violent activities being perpetrated by the communist terrorists New People’s Army against our innocent citizens,” General Eduardo Año, AFP Chief of Staff said.
“On our part, we will continue to intensify our combined intelligence and combat operations to employ more pressure to the communist terrorists and compel them to lay down their arms and choose the right and peaceful path,” General Año added.