THE 1003rd Brigade and the 69th Infantry Battalion (69th IB) of the Philippine Army claimed the elimination of Front Committee 52 of the New People's Army (NPA) in the area of Paquibato District, Davao City.
Deputy Commander of the 1003rd Brigade Colonel Ricado Nepumoceno, in his presentation during the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on Monday, said the dismantling of the Front Committee 52 can be attributed to the ongoing Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP).
"Our PDOP in the area has strengthened as we have continually coordinated with the different stakeholders of PDOP. We conducted a seminar for two indigenous people leaders to identify and resolve issues being used by the NPA in recruiting and coercing our indigenous people," Nepumoceno said.
He also said they have been giving out the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which provides livelihood programs and financial assistance to the rebel returnees.
"More rebels are surrendering in the area as they having a difficult time countering the PDOP of the army in the area. Most of them would resort to committing atrocities to sow fear to the community and discredit the success of PDOP," Nepumoceno said.
Lieutenant Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 69th IB, in an interview at the sidelines of the CPOC, said: "The dismantling of Front Committee 52 was based on the result of the parameter check for downgrading. Before we were in the area of Paquibato, they were still around. But after we intensified our operations in the area, we have confirmed that there are no members of Front Committee 52 operating in the area anymore."
Pasaporte added that members of the committee may have been absorbed by the 1st Pulang Bagani Command, which operates in Paquibato District, but they are yet to confirm it.