AFP says guerrilla fronts now down to 24 from 89 in 2016

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2022 04:55 PM

Rebel guerrillas of the communist New People's Army are seen in the Sierra Madre mountain range in this 2017 file photo. AFP/file
Rebel guerrillas of the communist New People's Army are seen in the Sierra Madre mountain range in this 2017 file photo. AFP/file

MANILA - Guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been reduced to 24 in 2022, down from 89 in 2016, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to make significant gains against the communist insurgents, a Philippine military official said Friday.

AFP spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar said of the 24 remaining guerrilla fronts, only 5 are active while 19 have weakened significantly.

“Kung masu-sustain natin itong operation against the 19, kusa na itong mawawala dahil wala nga rin silang programa na naipapatupad. Iyong lima po ay puwede nating pagbuhusan ng ating atensiyon, ng ating puwersa para tuluyan na rin itong humina at saka mawala,” Aguilar said.

The AFP believes the government’s Community Support Program has been effective in solving the insurgency problem in the countryside.

“Maganda po ang tinatakbo ng ating Community Support Program (CSP). In fact right now, ito po ay retooled na at pinapangunahan na po ng ating mga local government units," he said. 

"Ang importante dito sa CSP is iyong pagtugon sa mga issue na kinakaharap ng ating mga kababayan, dahil ito rin ang mga isyu na ito ang ginagamit ng mga armadong grupo upang mahikayat ang ating mga mamamayang sumapi sa kanila at lumaban sa gobyerno,” he said.

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The AFP has also been successful in addressing the threat of local terrorist groups, according to Aguilar.

“(D)uring the first three months of the term of the President, we have neutralized more or less 50 members of the local terrorist group and we also recovered around 64 firearms,” he said.

“Now, we feel that we have a very effective framework in preventing and countering violent extremism na hindi lang natin nasu-suppress iyong violence nila kung hindi napipigilan din ho natin ang recruitment nila mula sa mga mamamayan.”