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PIA Press Release

Military says NPA strength weakening

By Eli C. Dalumpines

Tacloban City (8 December) -- Judging the recent activities initiated by the communist insurgents to further the Revolutionary Movement's protracted war to seize power; military authorities here claimed that the strength of the New People's Army (NPA) is weakening.

1Lt. Mario M. Chico, spokesperson of the Army's 8th Infantry Division based in Camp Lukban here at Samar's capital, in a radio interview Thursday, said the NPA leadership is now desperate after the capture or the death of several of its top leaders in the region.

According to Lt. Chico, there has no reported NPA attack on military detachments or police stations in the region in the past four years except the foiled attempt of the insurgents to seize the Municipal Police Station of Basey town.

Lt. Chico cited the case of NPA's recruitment of minors as a proof of that despair saying that it is a strong indication that the communist insurgents can no longer fool the adults to join the Movement.

"We have observed lately that the communist terrorists shifted their recruitment strategy to minors rather than on adults, an indication that the series of information campaign conducted by the military and the local government units has bear fruit," the army spokesperson said.

The military officer, likewise, disclosed that the NPA has also shifted its strategy in eliminating their enemies by means of small group death squads and blaming them on the military as in the case of the recent killings.

"In the 80s they do it by mass killings as evidenced by the newly-uncovered mass graves. This time they do it by "sparrow teams" and attribute them to the military, thanks to their strong propaganda through their widely organized legal fronts", he further informed.

He urged the members of the insurgents though to consider their situation and think of the welfare of their families especially now that the Christmas season is approaching.

He said that they can further their quest of social transformation by joining the rest of the community through the democratic process instead of an armed struggle which only brings further misery on the part of the civilian populace who will eventually be caught up in the conflict. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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