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PIA Press Release

Army claims communist group was weakened in Ilocos region

By Freddie G. Lazaro

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur (October 28) -- A senior Army official had announced that communist group in Ilocos region were suffering a great setback after it failed to convince the local populace in their recruitment process.

Colonel Loreto Rirao, head of the Army's 503rd Brigade based in Barangay Sulvec, Narvacan town, disclosed last Friday that the latest assessment reports show the effectiveness of the civil military activities in the various academes and local government units in Ilocos region to enlighten the local populace about the ill- effects of communism.

"As to the impact of our civil military activities, some active communist rebels operating in the region were induced to return to the fold of law while the civilians were refraining to join the communist group," he said.

In Ilocos Sur, at least 6 communist rebels, all from Sta. Lucia town, were reportedly surrendered to the army troopers and police operatives for the period of July to October this year.

Earlier, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed that the strength of the terrorist groups in the country had lessened despite the series of bombings in Mindanao.

Colonel Domingo Tutaan, Executive Officer of the AFP's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, ascribed the weakening of such terrorists group like the Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayaff, and the communist New People's Army (NPA) due to the reported decrease of their firearms.

"There is a decline in the strength of terrorist group as of the assessment of the third quarter of the year. The strength is based on the number of firearms and the affected number of barangays, Tutaan said in press statement.

However, Tutaan said that the entire AFP has continued its efforts to fight insurgency and toremain vigilant to counter terrorists’ acts particularly in the urban centers.

"Even if there are only two communist terrorists, if they want to set off an explosion, they can," he said. (PIA-Ilocos) [top]

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