THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported a total of 17 soldiers and 15 members of the Cafgu Active Auxiliary who died during encounters against the communist armed group in the area of Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) from January to December of 2019.
Eastmincom Public Information Office chief Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey said based on their yearend report, there were a total of 275 armed encounters with the New People’s Army (NPA) and the discovery of 302 hideouts all over their areas of responsibility.
On the NPA’s side, a total of 56 guerilla fighters likewise perished during these encounters.
“The improved security situation is also attributed to continuous loss of mass base and space as 6,283 mass supporters or members of the underground mass organization dissociated and severed their ties with the CTGs,” Balagtey said.
There were nine municipalities, four cities, 46 municipalities, and 24 organizations in the Eastmincom area that have declared NPA as persona non grata which, according to Balagtey, forced them to be mobilize and consolidate in the political boundaries of provinces.