MANILA, Philippines – Lubhang humina na ang New People’s Army (NPA) at mga ka-alyado nito makaraang matalo sa iba’t ibang operasyon mula Enero hanggang Agosto ngayong taon, ayon kay Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. nitong Huwebes, Oktubre 20.
Sa forum na inorganisa ng Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), sinabi ni Brawner na natalo ng AFP ang nasa 2,658 miyembro ng NPA at mga taga-suporta nito mula Enero 1 hanggang Agosto 17.
Sa nasabing bilang, 124 ang napatay sa iba’t ibang engkwentro sa militar, habang 87 ang inaresto at 2,447 ang kusang sumuko sa pamahalaan.
“As far as the communist terrorist group is concerned, we are again happy to report that we have already neutralized most of the guerrilla fronts operating in the country. We have weakened a lot of them and there are now just a few armed elements operating in the country,” ani Brawner.
Dahil dito, sinabi ng opisyal na nakakakita sila ng “downward trend of the number of communist coddlers” dahil sa pagkakagapi sa karamihan sa mga lider ng grupo.
“We are very happy because since last year, with the neutralization of their top, their key leaders, we have seen a widespread surrender of fighters, and also with the death of (Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria) ‘Joma’ Sison, now we see that they (are) losing the ideology,” pahayag ni Brawner.
“And with this decline, many of the surviving NPAs could be just classified as bandits as they are engaged in extortion rackets.”
May posibilidad din na tuluyan nang matalo ng AFP ang NPA sa pagtatapos ng taon.
“(And) when we say neutralize, it doesn’t mean that we are going for total annihilation – it’s impossible to do that. But what we are trying to say is that by the end of the year, most of these horizontal and vertical formations – horizontal, these are the guerilla fronts; vertical formations are the small armed units that would go around to wreak havoc in the communities – we are hoping that they will be inconsequential, (and) not be able to launch any terroristic activities anymore,” sinabi ni Brawner. RNT/JGC