MILITARY have already flushed out all vestiges of the communist insurgent influence in all 133 barangays in Apayao province, said Army Colonel Remigio de Vera, commander of the Tabuk-based 501st Infantry Brigade.

Apayao Governor Elias Bulut Sr., Brigadier General Rommel Gomez, commander of the 5th Infantry Division and Cordillera Police Director Orlando Pestano signed a joint declaration that Apayao is “insurgent- free”.

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“It means that [Apayao] is already cleared from CPP/NPA/NDF influence and that the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army had been decimated or non-existent,” De Vera said.

At least three large valleys in Apayao –- Marag, Zinundungan and Paco, also called the “tri-valleys of the CPP”, were the strongholds of the communist movement’s Far North Regional Party Committee during the 1980s. 

The willingness to immediately end the insurgency problem and the commitment to prevent the re-entry of CPP/NPA/NDF of the local government executives and the cooperation of the people caused the downfall of the insurgency in the province, said De Vera.(Maria Elena Catajan)