In the first six months of the year, 491 members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) operating in Northern and Central Luzon returned to the fold of the law.
Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) records reveal that the figures are higher than the same period last year, when 198 rebels surrendered.
According to Nolcom commander Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., an average of two NPA rebels with one firearm have returned to the government’s fold every day since January, a clear manifestation of the terrorist group’s inevitable collapse in Northern and Central Luzon.
This is in addition to the 767 members of various NPA-affiliated mass groups who have declared their allegiance to the government after withdrawing their support for the terrorist group.
Burgos attributed the increase in surrenders and support withdrawal to their unwavering internal security operations and ongoing community engagement through their community assistance program.
During armed engagements and combined law enforcement operations with the Philippine National Police, he claimed, 29 NPA members were neutralized.
“With the current rate of surrenders, it’s only a matter of time that the NPAs will be totally decimated in this part of the country and we will never waver in our commitment to sustain the peace and continue to foster development in this region,” Burgos said in an official social media account post.
He also cited Nolcom’s other campaign activities, particularly in territorial defense, as being successful.
A desalination unit has been operationalized in Mavulis Island, the country’s northernmost island, where a Philippine Marine detachment carefully monitors the country’s northern maritime territory, according to Burgos.
In six hours, the desalination unit can create 1,500 liters of drinkable water.
Burgos also emphasized the coastal communities’ active engagement in Nolcom’s attempts to maintain the country’s sovereignty in its northern maritime domain.
“Some fisher folks are members of the established maritime information network who serve as ‘eyes and ears’ and enhances the government’s efforts to monitor the northern territorial waters,” he said.
“The active support of our stakeholders has helped our campaign flourish. They inspired us to do more and achieve more. Rest assured that we will continue to exert our best efforts in the service of our people,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.