From the Daily Tribune (Jan 9): ‘Bayanihan’ successful in curbing NPA threat, claims military chief
The military’s Internal Peace and Security Program (IPSP) “Bayanihan” is proving very successful in curbing down the New People’s Army (NPA) threat.
This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri in yesterday’s command conference where operational commanders presented their assessments on the NPA threat.
“There’s no doubt that IPSP ‘Bayanihan’ has continued to show success in paving the way for the accomplishment, aim to attain peace. This has been made possible because of the support of (the) people,” he added.
Due to the effectiveness of IPSP “Bayanihan,” Iriberri said 64 provinces, in 2015, were declared peaceful and ready for further development.
He added that this only leaves 12 provinces where pockets of NPA bands are still operating, albeit heavily pursued, by government forces.
“That is our goal, that this year we will be able to declare the remaining 12 provinces (in the Davao and Caraga area) as peaceful and ready for further development,” the AFP chief said.
In the same vein, Iriberri said the AFP has cleared and dismantled 13 guerilla fronts nationwide and cleared 292 barangays of rebel presence.
“We have reduced NPA strength from 4,443 yearend of 2014, what we have now is only remaining NPA strength 3,926 (for 2015). We also neutralized, captured, arrested 31 top (rebel) personalities,” he pointed out.
“So basically, generally, we have really made great strides in the implementation of IPSP ‘Bayanihan,’” he added.