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AFP determined to defeat CPP/NPA this year — Burgos

TARLAC CITY — Lt/Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, Jr., commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM), expressed optimism yesterday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will defeat the CPP/NPA rebels this year.

In a statement, Burgos cited the surrender en masse of the rebels, the latest of whom were some 364 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Regions 1,2,3 and Cordillera who yielded to government forces during the 1st quarter of 2021.

Burgos Jr. also disclosed that the rebel returnees also yielded a total of 34 firearms.

We are determined to totally defeat the communist terrorists by the end of this year. We are right on track in winning the peace and promoting development for the peace-loving citizens of this part of the country. We will press on the fight and end the local communist armed conflict once and for all,” said Burgos.

In addition to the 364 rebels who yielded this 1st quarter, Burgos said a total of 396 rebels also surrendered last year with 191 firearms.

Burgos added that the rebels have received various government aid under the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-CLIP), saying the “ 322 rebel returnees last January and February this year are just awaiting the release of their respective E-CLIP grants, while the remaining 42 rebels who surrendered last March are currently undergoing processing of their requirements to avail it.

Sustained internal security and law enforcement operations coupled with the overwhelming support from local government units and the general public enabled the government troops to successfully thwart any terroristic action by communist terrorists in Northern and Central Luzon. Their leaders continue to fall while their disgruntled members surrender in droves to government forces. These are manifestations that the NPA’s defeat in this part of the country is inevitable,” said Burgos.

To further avoid bloodshed, Burgos renewed his call to remaining members of NPA to surrender. “We are appealing to our misguided brothers and sisters in Northern and Central Luzon to contemplate and do the right thing. Lay down your arms, abandon your armed struggle and return to government fold for your sake and for it.