From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 12): Insurgency in parts of Central, Northern Luzon now manageable -- Army official
The insurgency problem in portions of Central and Northern Luzon is now manageable following the conduct of counter-insurgency operations and the surrender of armed rebels over the past months.
Major General Angelito M. De Leon, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, said the New People's Army (NPA) has been crippled due to the series of operations by the division which covers 14 provinces in Regions 1, 2 and 3 and two towns in Mt. Province.
De Leon particularly cited Bataan province which has been declared insurgency-free last September.
"Parts of Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that include two municipalities of Mountain Province although with NPA presence have been declared to be peaceful," he said.
In 2016 alone, he said that 24 NPA rebels and 47 members of the Marxista Leninista Partido ng Pilipinas/Rebolusyong Hukbong Bayan (MLPP/RHB) surrendered to authorities while two of the rebels were killed and one arrested in three major tactical encounters.
The government troops also recovered 29 firearms, he added.
De Leon said that they continuously convinced our brothers in the mountains to return to the mainstream of society.
He added that in Ilocos Sur, 10 communist rebels who returned to the folds of the law late last year received livelihood assistance from the comprehensive local integration program of the provincial government (CLIP).
Lt. Col. Eugenio C. Osias IV, commander of the 81st Infantry (Spartan) Battalion based in Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur, said that Gov. Ryan Singson extended PHP807,000 in financial aid to the rebel returnees.
Osias also said that only last Wednesday, a squad leader identified as Ka Yumu of the NPA’s Squad Uno surrendered to them.
“Ka Yumi” whose group operates in the tri-boundaries of Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur, turned over a calibre 30 Garand rifle.
Menwhile, Col. Milfredo Melegrito, commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, said that the growing number of surrenderers is a good indicator that the NPA has no more reason to rebel against the government since the latter provided much for their reintegration to the mainstream of society.
Lt. Col Louie DS. Villanueva, 56th Infantry “Tatag” Battalion, Philippine Army said that when he took over the command in this province only one incident related to insurgency was reported in the mountainous area in San Luis town.
The encounter happened in August last year between the “Tatag” army troopers and the NPA rebels that resulted to the recovery of two high- powered firearms, one AK47 and one M16 rifle.
The Tatag Battalion discovered an abandoned enemy encampment composed of nine bunkers, seven enemy posts, a lecture hall and kitchen.
The army seized numerous assorted ammunitions, NPA’s personal belongings, foodstuff and subversive documents.
In Aurora alone, there are 28 regular NPA rebels listed in the police and army. Of the 28 NPA guerrillas, five are amazon fighters.
In Nueva Ecija, there are 22 regular NPA fighters monitored by the authorities.