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AFP: NPA surrenders prove army’s peace and dev’t program works

A military officer on Tuesday said that they will continue their peace and development programs in the far-flung barangays to reduce the foothold of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), told reporters at the sidelines of the AFP-PNP Press Corp Southern Mindanao Media Fellowship on Monday night held at COA XI that Mayor Sara Duterte has already stopped the localized peace talks with the armed rebels operating in the hinterlands of the city.

Madrigal said that the community support program (CSP) teams of the different line battalions under the command have already been deployed to further help and provide services in the far-flung communities together with the efforts of the local government unit and agencies.

“On programs and services, we have already done Serbisyo Caravan in Davao Oriental also in Compostela Valley and in Caraga region,” he added.

“In Caraga region, we have already a peace plan for the whole region,” he said. “We have combined the peace and development plan so that it becomes a peace and development plan.”

“Some of the issues that have to be addressed on the peace plan will come from the development plan (addressing IP concerns, law enforcement and other programs) and issues on the NPA conflicted area,” he further said.

Meanwhile, he said the EastMinCom area is peaceful despite some isolated clashes and harassment perpetrated by the NPA.

“But if you will compare it for the past six years, we are at our lowest in terms of incidents taking place,” he said.

He also said that there were already 600 NPA regular members and 800 Militia ng Bayan members who surrendered as of June this year.

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