AFP says NPA rebels returning to government fold

March 29, 2011 4:53 am 

MANILA, March 28 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Monday it is preparing for the New People’s Army’s (NPA) 42nd Founding Anniversary Tuesday, March 29, as it expects more NPA’s returning to government fold.

This is due to the thriving effect of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) which is also known as Oplan “Bayanihan”.

AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr. said since January 1, this year, the start of IPSP Oplan “Bayanihan”, a reduction of 161 NPA members were recorded, out of which were 117 surrendered or 73 percent of the total.

Last year’s first quarter, the NPA strength-reduction totaled to 215, with only 71 members or 33 percent surrendered, meaning the reduction in the number of rebels increased by 40 percent this year through joint peace efforts of the AFP, Philippine National Police, Local Government Units and other agencies.

A significant 12-percent decrease of the AFP-NPA engagements this year compared to the same period from last year’s 1st quarter was also recorded.

AFP operations have also yielded a total of 88 firearms recovered this quarter or 41 percent lower compared with last year’s first quarter figure of 148 as a result of surrenders, discoveries of arms cache and combat losses.

A major development is that the attacks perpetrated by the NPA have been reduced by at least 28 percent from last year’s 1st quarter figure of 86 violent acts down to only 62 incidents this quarter.

“The need for armed engagements against the NPA will eventually decrease as we see a continuance in the influx of NPA members surrendering. However, your AFP remains alert to respond to NPA-related threats known to mark its anniversary by atrocious attacks,” said Oban. (PNA) DCT/JCA

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