AFP monitoring presence of NPAs in 300 barangays ahead of elections
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it is monitoring 300 out of 42,046 villages nationwide to ensure the safety of local elections in these areas where communist rebels are either operating or trying to reimpose their presence.
“We’re looking first at the areas [where] the [New People’s Army] are trying to recover or those areas where they have a presence. We’re starting from that figure of more or less 300 [villages],” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
“We are still looking at the possibility that they can create some trouble during the election,” Aguilar added.
He, however, said most of these areas are cleared of rebellion, but there are indications that the NPAs want to reestablish their presence
“Most of these areas are actually cleared, but there are indications that they want to return there,” he pointed out.
Aguilar reiterated that the NPA has more or less 2,000 fighters with 22 guerrilla fronts — of which 20 are weakened, and two remain active.
Every NPA guerrilla front has at least three platoons with around 100 armed men.
“So we hope that when the election comes, these figures will still be reduced so that there will be [fewer] worries on the part of the government security forces in securing the Barangay and SK elections,” he said.
The barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are scheduled on October 30.