From Malaya (Feb 6): AFP places NPA strength at 4,000
THE military yesterday said it neutralized 555 fighters of the communist New People’s Army last year. These fighters killed 164 government troops and civilians during the same period, it said.
Of the 555 rebels, 367 surrendered while the rest were either killed or captured during the conduct of combat operations, or apprehended, said Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos.
The military’s working figure on NPA strength as of end 2012 is “approximately 4,000,” according to Maj. Emmanuel Garcia, deputy chief of the AFP public affairs office.
But as of end 2011, security officials pegged the strength of the NPA at 4,043 men.
Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista last month vowed that the military will render the communist movement inconsequential before he retires from the service in July next year.
Burgos said the NPA launched 374 violent incidents last year, killing 53 civilians.
“Rounding up the statistics, an innocent civilian is killed by the NPA every week last year,” he said.
Burgos said the rebel activities also resulted in the death of 81 soldiers, eight policemen, and 22 government militiamen.
Burgos said the NPA activities included 10 attacks during the holiday ceasefire, during which a soldier and a militiaman died.
Last month, the NPA conducted 10 violent activities that led to the killing of three government troops, 10 civilians and wounding of 27 troops and nine civilians.