NPA strength remains at 4,000–AFP
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday that figures of the New People’s Army strength remained at about 4,000.
This means that the numbers remained almost unchanged since the implementation of the Internal Peace Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan, the military’s anti-insurgency strategy that was implemented in 2011.
The military leadership held a command conference last week to assess the national security situation and its ongoing campaigns.
“It’s about 4,000 plus [for the third quarter of 2014],” AFP chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. told reporters on Monday.
“Medyo may lumalaki sa ibang lugar, may lumiliit sa ibang lugar, may pantay. Anyway sa December we will give the final figures,” he also said.
(There are groups which grew, there are those which dwindled, and there are those which stayed the same. Anyway, we will give the final figures on December.)
The AFP chief said they have a new system in accounting the NPA strength.
“Halimbawa may report kayo 500. When I was [Northern Luzon Command] chief based on intel report ‘pag pinagsama mga 200 at ‘di aabot ang 300. So bakit ganon based on ground report magkaiba? So kelangan pag-aralan natin,” he said.
For military’s public affairs office chief Lieutenant Harold Cabunoc, the figures don’t mean that the anti-insurgency campaign is a failure.
“Hindi tayo bigo. Nakikita naman natin may nagsurrender, may nahuhuli. Ginagawa lahat ng ating Armed Forces para masugpo ang kriminalidad at banditry ng NPA,” Lieutenant Harold Cabunoc said.
(We did not fail. You could see that there were those who surrendered, and there were those who got arrested. We in the AFP are doing everything to crush NPA’s criminality and banditry.)
The IPSP Bayanihan focuses on a noncombat approach in dealing with insurgents.
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