Army official: Number of NPAs in Negros decreasing
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The spokesperson of the Third Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army said that the number of New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels in Negros province has decreased since most of their leaders either surrendered or have been arrested.
Major Cenon Pancito announced this after at least four ranking members of the NPA surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion last Saturday, August 7.
The 11th IB is a battalion under the 3rd Infantry Division which consisted of troops combatting the insurgents in Negros Island.
The surrenderees were identified as alias Jango and Jay, both members of the Regional Striking Force (RSF), Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS), alias Rodel, Vice Squad Leader of Squad 3, Central Negros 2, and alias Bong, the squad leader of the Southeast Front.
The surrenderees, Pancito said, were former leaders of insurgents who conducted previous armed encounters with government troops in Negros.
According to Pancito, some surrenderees told him that one of the most compelling reasons why they decided to give up is the hardships they encountered in the mountain areas of Negros.
The surrenderees also admitted that going from one place to another to hide and regroup is also getting difficult with the intensified operations of government troops against them.
Pancito added that the surrender of ranking members of NPA is proof that their numbers are dwindling not only in Negros but also in some areas of Bohol.
This observation though has been refuted several times by the different spokespersons of these communist groups as they maintain that they still have a lot of loyal members with them.
“At least in our part, our efforts against insurgency make sense leaving us motivated enough to continue with our campaign,” Pancito said in Cebuano.
For now, the 11th IB will assist the surrenderees in enrolling in the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program to provide them a fresh start.
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