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PIA Press Release

Gov't peace efforts reduce number of rebels in RP

Negros Occ. (9 February) -- Government efforts towards attainment of peace and order under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have led to the reduction of number of rebels in the country according to government records.

MILF manpower and strength used to number 12,571 in the year 2000 but has now dropped to 11,454 as of December 31, 2009.

The CPP/NPA/NDF also declined in strength and personnel from 11,260 in 2000 to only 5,021 last year.

Even the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group also dwindled to 407 today from a strong 1,269 army way back in 2000.

In Negros Occ., Civil Military Operations Chief Major Nathaniel Villasor confirmed that the number of CPP/NPA/NDF has dropped to 240 in their area of responsibility covering Central Negros and North Negros Area.

The figure already includes the armed and political component of the rebel group, he added.

Villasor said this is due to the pressure exerted by the 303rd Brigade under the leadership of Col Maximo Caro.

He also said the lowering of number rebel forces is also credited to the Social Integration Program of the government that allows them to lay down their arms and live normal lives aided with livelihood assistance program.

The program was successful because the LGUs cooperated with us and other non-government organizations, he said.

They have also used the non-traditional approach to end rebellion which is delivering basic services to the people in remote areas, seldom reached by government service.

As of February this year, they have already conducted nine medical-dental missions in the hinterlands. (PIA-LOL) [top]

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