outbrain
Close  
‘NOTHING BUT PROPAGANDA’

Gov’t pooh-poohs Reds’ claim of strength

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The government dismissed claims by the insurgent New People’s Army (New People’s Army) that it was gaining strength in Mindanao and other parts of the country as “a figment of their imagination” and “nothing but propaganda.”

Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said on Sunday that based on the military’s anti-insurgency campaign, “the insurgency problem would cease next year by making their numbers insignificant and their cause irrelevant.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He said the statement of Jorge Madlos, spokesperson of the communist NPA in Mindanao, that the  insurgent fronts were growing was “a figment of the imagination that aims to excuse their failures and continuous dwindling of strength.”

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a government radio broadcast, called the claims “nothing but propaganda, citing statistics gathered by the Cabinet security cluster showing a decrease not only in the number of its forces but also in the number of its arms and even influence in Mindanao.

FEATURED STORIES

Military data cited

Coloma cited military data covering the 4th quarter as compared to the 2nd quarter as follows: a 17-percent drop in the number of forces [1,691 from 2,035]; a 25-percent drop of barangays affected by communist insurgency [414 from 547]; a 6-percent drop in the number of firearms and a 17-percent drop in the number of guerrilla fronts [24 from 29].

“So [its claims) are not true,” he said.

Lost a key leader

 

Hao, in a separate statement, cited similar statistics and also mentioned that the Mindanao rebels lost one of their key leaders earlier this year. Leonardo Pitao, alias “Parago,” was killed in an encounter in Davao City last June.

During the 47th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines last Saturday, the communist movement claimed their strength grew despite military offensives.

ADVERTISEMENT

Madlos said they now have 46 guerilla fronts in Mindanao, up from the 40 guerilla fronts during President Aquino’s first year in office.

From 1,850 villages, the NPA reportedly expanded to 2,500 villages with a mass base of 200,000.

A rebel statement from Panay Island also claimed the increased number of attacks launched by the NPA on the island this year demonstrated the extensive troop positioning and depth of the mass base of the revolutionary movement in Panay.

The NPA in Panay surpassed the minimum number of tactical offensives per unit set by the guerrilla leadership, according to Julian Paisano, identified as the CPP regional spokesperson.

Both the government and communist rebels are now observing a 12-day Christmas and New Year ceasefire ending Jan. 3 next year. With a report from  Nestor P. Burgos, Inquirer Visayas

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: anti-insurgency campaign, Davao City, Herminio Coloma Jr., Insurgency, Jorge Madlos, Leonardo Pitao, Mindanao, New People’s Army
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.