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NPA now down to 598 active rebels, Army says

The 10th Infantry Division said the New People’s Army (NPA) population in the region continues to shrink, as it estimated that the rebel group only has 598 active guerrillas.

“Not only in Davao region, but also some parts of North Cotabato, South Cotabato and portions of Sarangani province, Agusan Del Sur, Surigao, and Bukidnon,” Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said during the AFP-PNP press conference held in The Royal Mandaya Hotel yesterday.

From the 11 guerrilla fronts, Lamosao said the NPA is now down to four guerrilla fronts operating in 46 barangays.

“There are many groups that dissolved,” he said. “There are only four guerrilla fronts that were numbered to 20 to 25 members and eight weakened guerrilla fronts composed of 10 to 15 members, ” he added.

He also said that there are only three remaining Pulang Bagani Commands of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Based also on their record, they estimate that the NPA has a total inventory of 722 firearms.

“Records from operations and Intelligence branch and, at the same time, the report from concerned citizens regarding the validation of the number of casualties because there are some encounters that we’re not able to determine but we can identify after two to three days,” Lamosao said.

He attributed the increasing number of surrenderees and the diminishing number of NPAs to the whole-of-nation approach of the government to pursue inclusive development projects.

Lamosao said they partnered with the local government units and non-government agencies for the implementation of peace and development. He also emphasized that to prevent the rebels from shoring its militant force, the concerned agencies should address the root cause of rebellion.

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