Army exec: NPA can't disrupt 2022 polls in Central Luzon | Inquirer News
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Army exec: NPA can’t disrupt 2022 polls in Central Luzon

/ 05:37 PM October 11, 2021

INQUIRER file Photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO––The New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Luzon has no significant strength to disrupt the May 9, 2022 elections or campaign for their favored candidates, an Army officer in the region said in an interview Monday.

Col. Joseph Norwin Pasamonte, commander of the Philippine Army’s 703rd Infantry Brigade, said the efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) had led to a decrease in the number of communist rebels, recruits, firepower, and mass bases.

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“If the decreases continue and the people keep getting support from the government, we see the influence of the NPA to be waning to a point it cannot get sympathizers,” Pasamonte told reporters.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential peace adviser and Cabinet officer for Regional Development and Security, said localized peace engagement has “allowed national government agencies and local government units to directly address the roots of the decades-long armed rebellion.”

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For instance, Barangay San Mateo in Norzagaray, Bulacan has received P20 million from the Barangay Development Program for a farm-to-market road and other projects.

Galvez reported the dismantling of guerrilla fronts Caraballo and Sierra Madre, as well as the recovery of 82 high-powered firearms and 76 guns.

According to him, seven provinces, 14 cities, and towns in the region have declared communist armies to be persona non grata (unwanted persons).

Last August, Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Burgos, chief of the Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command, reported that 491 NPA rebels had surrendered to the government and the “majority” of them received grants to start life anew.

The latest town to be declared insurgency-free was Dingalan in Aurora, said Pasamonte.

Former Agrarian Reform Sec. Rafael Mariano scored the Duterte administration for alloting P28.1 billion to NTF ELCAC in 2022.

The amount, he said, can “buy more than one million water pumps ranging from P15,000 to P25,000 each.” INQ

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TAGS: #2022candidtates, 2022 elections, Army officer, campaign, candidates, Central Luzon, New People’s Army, NPA, Politics, Regions
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