By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar welcomed reports on the reduction in the number of communist guerilla fronts and the continuous surrender of communist rebels in Southern Mindanao.
According to 10ID commander Major General Ernesto C. Torres, the number of communist armed groups in Southern Mindanao has been reduced from 23 to just six.
Data from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict indicated that a total of 18,433 communist rebels have surrendered to the government since 2016, including 92 “child soldiers.”
PGen Eleazar said that this could be attributed to the intensified anti-communist insurgency campaign of the Duterte administration.
“The PNP welcomes this huge development in the government’s campaign against communist insurgency. Kaagapay tayo ng militar sa pagsugpo sa mga rebeldeng ito. The dwindling number of guerilla fronts only proves that the administration’s efforts against the communist rebels are effective,” PGen Eleazar said.
“Marami na din ang naitatalang mga rebelde na sumuko na sa gobyerno. Napagtanto na ng mga ito na walang kabuluhan ang ideolohiya na itinuro sa kanila at walang saysay ang isinusulong na armadong pakikipaglaban ng CPP/NPA na ang inaatake ay pawang mga tahimik na komunidad at inosenteng sibilyan,” he added.
According to PGen Eleazar, this latest development would serve to motivate the police and the military to strive harder in ending the communist insurgency.
He also urged the remaining rebels to lay down their arms, return to the fold of the law, and avail of reintegration and livelihood programs being offered by the government.
“Hindi pa huli ang lahat. Maaari pa kayong magbalik-loob sa gobyerno at magbagong-buhay,” PGen Eleazar said. (ai/mtvn)