NPA strength down, losing in all fronts - military
Dagupan City (29 June) -- The number of communist rebels has dropped to 4,874 this year, from a manpower strength of 7,170 three years ago, it was gathered.
"The CPP-NPA is losing in every front, losing their mass support in the barangays, struggling with issues from within," said Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, 67th infantry battalion commander.
National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. said that the military is winning the war against insurgency. "There is no danger of a communist insurgency taking over the country today," he assured.
Affected barangays went down to 1,378 from 2,121 in 2006, while the guerilla fronts dropped to 75 from 100. The NPA rebels have an estimated 5,143 firearms now, lower than their 6.060 in 2006, military records say.
On atrocities and attacks by the NPA rebels, the military said that at least 10 Globe cell sites and other facilities in Bicol, Southern Tagalog, and Mindanao were attacked.
Insurgents continued to kill political figures, military and police officers and suspected informers, according to the 2008 US Country Report on Human Rights.
The NPA, has on several occasions, owned the killings of some of its members. The Peace Advocates for Truth and Healing (PATH), which is composed of surviving victims, claims that more than 3,000 people have been brutally tortured and murdered during purges by communist groups during the 1980s and early 1990s. "Violations of non-state armed groups should also be visible to the radar screen of human rights advocates, governments and the international community," it also said.
There are reports that some senior leaders of the NPA extort millions from businessmen and pocket the amounts for personal use.
President Macapagal-Arroyo earlier said that the communist rebels have spent years as a low level threat and impede the progress and development of a number of rural areas. "We have to get rid of the insurgency by 2010," she said noting that winning the peace is the key to achieving progress. (PIA Pangasinan/DOS) [top]