575 rebels yield since January: Nolcom
By Zorayda Tecson / Philippine News Agency
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A total of 575 members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Northern and Central Luzon have returned to the fold of the law since the start of this year, the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) said on Tuesday.
Aside from this, internal security operations also resulted in the withdrawal of support from the terrorist group of 733 members from the different NPA-affiliated mass organizations.
A total of 20 communist rebels were also neutralized through armed encounters and joint law enforcement operations from Jan. 1, 2021 to August.
Likewise, three guerrilla fronts have been dismantled this year --the Kilusang Larangangang Gerilya (KLG) Southern Ilocos Sur, KLG Quirino-Nueva Vizcaya, and the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya –Sierra Madre.
“With this accomplishment and for the remainder of 2021, it is expected that we shall continue to dismantle the remaining guerrilla fronts while sustaining our gains for the cleared areas,” Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., Nolcom commander, said in a social media post on Tuesday.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Burgos also highlighted the command’s campaigns in its other mission areas, such as territorial defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
Being the vanguards of the northern maritime frontier, he said Nolcom has established a reliable maritime informant network (MIN) along the shorelines of Zambales, Batanes, and Pangasinan which serve as the primary sources of information along the maritime areas in the north.
He added that 13 sovereign markers have been established in the uninhabited islands of Northern Luzon to further assert the country’s sovereignty in these islands and their surrounding waterways.
On humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, Burgos said Nolcom has signed an implementing agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office 3 for the establishment of satellite storages at Camp Servillano Aquino.
To date, he said facilities have stored 5,000 food packs ready to be delivered to areas that might be affected by natural and man-made calamities.
Armed of the Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., during a command visit to the Nolcom headquarters in Tarlac on Monday, lauded the men and women of the command for the success of their relentless security operations and numerous community-based outreach programs.
Faustino also acknowledged and recognized the unyielding efforts of the joint task forces under Nolcom, which he said are instrumental to the success of its campaign in Central and North Luzon.
He directed the defenders of the north to "maintain the momentum and sustain the gains". (PNA)