By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – The government would remain on guard, despite the successful dismantling of the guerilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Saturday.
While the NPA has “zero active guerilla fronts,” Marcos acknowledged the need to continue the counterinsurgency efforts to enhance the country’s internal security.
“Ngayon, maaari na nating ma-i-report na wala ng active NPA guerilla front as of December 2023. Kaya patuloy nating ipaglalaban ito (Now, we can report that there is no active NPA guerilla front as of December 2023. So we will continue to fight for it),” Marcos said in a video message uploaded on his official Facebook page.
“These accomplishments underscore our steadfast commitment to peace and stability,” he added.
The President expressed elation over the government troops’ achievement in addressing the country’s insurgency problem by wiping out active NPA guerilla fronts.
He noted that in 2023, around 1,398 members of communist and local terrorist groups were neutralized and some 1,751 firearms were seized.
Marcos lauded the military, the police, the Defense department and all the intelligence agencies for their performance and coordination to ramp up the government’s efforts against insurgency.
“Sila’y nagtutulungan kaya naman naging matagumpay ang ating kampanya kontra sa internal terrorism (They work together that’s why our campaign against internal terrorism was successful),” he said.
In November 2023, the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), agreed to a “principled and peaceful resolution of the armed conflict.”
However, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), in a statement earlier this month, expressed skepticism over the CPP-NPA-NDF’s sincerity because of the communist group’s “history of failed negotiations, the continuing perpetration of violence, and inconsistent statements.”
The communist movement demanded for the resumption of peace talks, even as it launched a “3rd Rectification Movement” calling for its armed wing, the NPA, to intensify the “protracted people’s war” against the government during its 55th anniversary on Dec. 26 last year. (PNA)