MANILA – WITH MOUNTING surrenders from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), they and their allies are on the decline, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said Wednesday alongside the national Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSSC) meeting at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
“All figures are on the decline. In fact, many of them have surrendered. For this year alone, there are more than 1,000 communist terrorists who have surrendered with almost 800 firearms from the side of the CPP-NPA and many are still sending surrender feelers,” Gapay said.
With these surrenders, Gapay said the NPA, armed component of the CPP, has “significantly degraded” giving the AFP time to focus on the non-military problems of the communist insurgency. The AFP chief was referring to poverty and injustice used by the communist terrorists in furthering their propaganda and recruiting new members, especially among the indigenous people’s communities.
PNP, AFP sign accord on anti-insurgency, terrorism
“While we must perform our primary responsibility to serve and protect our people, it is our duty to give our best to help the AFP in defending our country through giving the best assistance and support to your troops especially in the areas of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” he said.
Aside from anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism efforts, Cascolan said the directive is aligned with the continuous campaign against loose firearms, illegal discharge of firearms, and campaign against criminal gangs, and drug suspects and peddlers. Read more …
Resolving poverty and injustice requires a whole-of-nation approach and one of the ways of accelerating the solutions to these problems is through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC). Gapay said the establishment of the NTF ELCAC, through Executive Order 70 in 2018, is really designed to address the root causes of insurgency.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said the PNP and the AFP will be forging several partnerships to come up with core innovations that would result in zero insurgencies.
“We will be doing a lot of initiatives. We will be seeing us, together with the AFP, more often. We will be very visible together and soon enough, we will be able to come up with joint exercises like simulation exercises that we have to do even on the legal and offensive stance,” he said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (with Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA) (/IA/DS)
Featured photo: Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay. File photo