AFP: NPA down to 2,000 fighters, guerrilla fronts slashed by 74 percent | Inquirer News

AFP: NPA down to 2,000 fighters, guerrilla fronts slashed by 74 percent

/ 12:15 PM July 07, 2022
NPA rebels AFP

(FILE) This file photo taken on April 19, 2017 shows NPA guerillas, the armed wing of the Maoist rebels, marching during the turn-over ceremony of captured government soldiers to officials and peace advocates in the hinterlands of Matanao town, Davao del Sur province on the southern island of Mindanao. AFP PHOTO / MANMAN DEJETO

MANILA, Philippines — The number of fighters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) is now down to 2,000 with active NPA guerilla fronts down to just 23 during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar made the revelation during a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday.

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“We have achieved significant gains in the conduct of military operations against the threat, I’m referring to the armed threat and [the dismantled guerrilla fronts are] almost 74 percent. There used to be 89 guerrilla fronts when President Duterte assumed office in 2016 but as of June 30 this year they were reduced to 23,” Aguilar said.

“Now as to the armed components, they [have been] reduced to less than 2,000,” he added, while pointing out that some 25,000 supporters of the Reds have also surrendered to authorities.

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Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa earlier explained in a Senate session that every NPA guerrilla front should have at least three platoons with around 100 armed combatants.

Aguilar noted that the military is just short of dismantling one more NPA guerrilla front to achieve “strategic victory” against the communist insurgents, saying the military is targeting to break down 75 percent of their guerrilla fronts.

“I think we have gained much as far as defeating the armed component is concerned and that’s why you can now seldom hear about attacks or harassment,” Aguilar said.

Communist Party of the Philippines spokesperson Marco Valbuena called AFP’s data “gross underestimation,” maintaining that the Maoist insurgency is still at the “middle-phase of strategic defensive stage.”

Valbuena, however, did not divulge the exact numbers of their fighters, saying “the NPA does not provide exact figures of its actual strength as a way of keeping the enemy blind.”

/MUF
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TAGS: AFP, guerilla fronts, NPA
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