Monday, January 23, 2012

AFP: NPA lost 341 men in 2011; members now down to 4,043

The number of active New People’s Army (NPA) rebels was down to 4,043 last year after they lost 341 men, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Sunday as it continued to boast of the gradual weakening of the communist movement.
 
AFP chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa attributed the decrease to the implementation of the country’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP), dubbed as “Bayanihan,” last year.
 
“We are tightening our grip against the NPA bandits with our focused combat operations,” he said Sunday.
 
He also said that the military continued to “thwart insurgency” last year through “close cooperation, coordination and collaboration” with the police, the private sector and other stakeholders.
 
IPSP “Bayanihan” is the Aquino administration’s plan to counter insurgency and terrorism in the country by 2016. It centers on the involvement of all stakeholders and respect for human rights.
 
The NPA, which has been pursuing armed struggle in the country for more than four decades now, is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
 
Less attacks
 
The AFP also reported less attacks launched by the NPA last year compared to 2010.
 
AFP spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos said the number of NPA-initiated attacks in 2011 decreased to 447 from 501 in 2010. Of this number, 178 were directed at government forces, while the rest targeted civilians and business firms for extortion activities.
 
Burgos also said that 56 soldiers were killed in NPA attacks last year—lower than the figures in 2010, which he pegged at 91.
 
He enjoined civilians to cooperate in counterinsurgency efforts, especially in at least 25 provinces where NPA presence was still reported.
 
“The AFP encourages all the other stakeholders, even the ordinary peace-loving citizens to join the fight against the barriers to the nation’s peace, stability and development,” he said. 
— Andreo C. Calonzo/KBK, GMA News
January 22, 2012 6:01pm
GMA News Online
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