The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue providing development projects to isolated communities in the countryside even as it conducts operations aimed at eliminating the remaining pockets of New People's Army (NPA) resistance.
"The AFP continues its fight against insurgency and its causes with the implementation of various projects in the countryside which seek to uplift the quality of life of residents there while actively working against the New People’s Army," AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said on Monday.
Bringing of development projects to countryside communities infested with NPAs is part of its "Bayanihan" strategy which seeks to deny the rebels a mass base.
A total of 340 NPA rebels were neutralized by the AFP during the first quarter of 2015 in the different provinces while at least 166 firearms were recovered in various operations.
Based on the 2014 AFP yearend report, there were only about 3,200 armed NPA members remaining.
Fifty-eight provinces were already declared Peaceful and Ready for Further Development (PRFD) while 10 were already declared cleared.
A total of 330 cases were already filed against NPA rebels in courts while 212 warrants of arrest were already released.
Cabunoc said the AFP supported the conduct of law enforcement operations against notorious NPA members, including Adelberto Silva and Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.
He added that the suspects in the Inopacan massacre, including Satur Ocampo, Vicente Ladlad, Randal Echaniz, Rafael Baylosis and several others were arraigned in court last May 7.
The AFP also recorded the death of notorious NPA leaders like Leoncio Pitao, aka “Kumander Parago” who was killed in an encounter with 6th Scout Ranger Company, 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion in Davao City last June 30.