Military: NPA violence drops by 21%-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
THE number of violent incidents allegedly perpetrated by New People's Army (NPA) rebels continued to decline in the second year of the country's counterinsurgency program, the military said Monday.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said 374 violent incidents allegedly initiated by the communist rebels were recorded in 2012, which is 21 percent lower than the 374 incidents in 2011.
The military added that 501 similar incidents were recorded in 2010 or the year before the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan was launched.
"This shows the continuing decline of NPA-initiated violent incidents during the implementation of IPSP Bayanihan," the AFP said in a statement.
The AFP also claimed that the number of communist rebels that returned to government fold increased from 235 in 2011 to 367 in 2012.
The number of neutralized NPA rebels last year also rose by 63 percent, the military further claimed, citing various reports from its field units.
However, the military also acknowledged that the NPA "continues to attack civilians and non-combatants" as demonstrated in their recent attacks staged early this year.
On January 27, NPA rebels ambushed a non-combatant truck in La Castellana town, Negros Occidental, leaving nine civilians dead and 14 others injured.
Communist rebels also attacked pineapple plantations in Bukidnon province on February 19.
General Emmanuel Bautista, AFP Chief of Staff, said while the military supports government peace initiatives, it will however "continue to sustain its gains from the IPSP Bayanihan" against the NPA rebels.
"We will continue in our effort to convince the NPA to abandon the armed violence that continues to hamper growth and development in our country," said Bautista, who is also the chief architect of the IPSP Bayanihan. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)