AN ESTIMATED 400 members of the communist terrorists groups (CTG) are reportedly operating in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Cordillera according to Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Lieutenant General Ramiro Rey, Nolcom commander who was guest of honor and speaker during the graduation ceremonies of the Basic Internal Security Operations Course (BISOC) of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-COR) said the decreasing number of CTGs can be attributed to the full implementation of Executive Order 70 or the whole-of-nation approach in ending the fight against local communists under the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
“Our brothers now are surrendering to government and going back to the mainstream of society. We are hopeful that those still involved with the communist groups will soon see how their fellow brothers and sisters who have returned to the mainstream of society are now being treated,” Rey said.
Recently, 23 members of the Militia ng Bayan officially surrendered to PRO–COR and are now undergoing the process of returning to the mainstream of society and benefiting from the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.
“At present I am very confident based on the assessment that in all regions in Northern Luzon, there are no signs of additional communist terrorist groups operating in this part of the country which is why with the tandem between the stakeholders, the AFP and the Philippine National Police, it is envisioned that the insurgency problems in the country will be solved before the term of President Duterte ends,” the Nolcom commander added.
Rey added that the 400 members are combatants traveling from one region to another to make it look like they have a large force when conducting combat operations.