Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NPAs Continue to Threaten 273 Villages in Eastern, Northern Mindanao

DAVAO CITY — Around 273 villages in the areas of Davao region, CARAGA and northern Mindanao continue to bear the threats being posed by communists New People’s Army (NPA), a senior military official said.
Speaking before reporters during the regular AFP-PNP press conference at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday (January 13, 2016) Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmicom) commander Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said intensified campaigns of the command from 2014 up to last year had already reduced the influence of the NPAs in villages in the area – from 400 barangays down to 273.

“There were 496 barangays affected by the presence of NPAs during the first quarter of 2015 in our area of jurisdiction, a number lower compared to 514 barangays during the last part of 2014,” Guerrero pointed out, adding that the further lessening of NPA influences to 273 villages was attributed to the convergence of government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in reaching remote areas and the delivery of basic services to residents.

The efforts, he added, is part of the continuing implementation of the peace and development program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in northern and eastern Mindanao.

Guerrero also announced the reduction of NPA forces in the area as well as the decrease of the number of their firepower.

“There around 1,600 guerrillas now in Davao region, CARAGA and Northern Mindanao with an estimated number of 2,232 short and high-powered firearms,” he said.

In an earlier data provided by Captain Alberto Caber, chief information officer of Eastmincom, joint elements of the Philippine National Police and the AFP captured 72 NPA members in a series of operations conducted in their areas of jurisdiction in 2015.

A total of 330 NPAs also surrendered to various units of Eastmincom in the area during the period, Caber added.

The leadership of Eastmincom emphasized that they will continue to work with the various government agencies and LGUs for peace and development programs this year.

Meanwhile, Eastmincom also confirmed of the continued extortion activities of the NPAs, particularly the demands they make to politicians to collect permit to campaign during election period.

Guerrero made an appeal to politicians not to give in to the demands of the NPAs as this will only help the rebels consolidate themselves and sow terror to villages in the area.

He also asked the politicians to coordinate with the police and the military to clear the areas during their campaign sorties and activities.

PNP Davao region director Chief Superintendent Wendy Rosario also assured the residents in Davao region and the candidates that the police force will work with the AFP in ensuring orderliness during the campaign period and election.

Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/npas-continue-to-threaten-273-villages-in-eastern-northern-mindanao/#CXFS4OIljCOCWVQF.99

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