THE Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have declared strategic victory against terrorist groups in the country, noting the dismantling of more than 75 percent of guerrilla fronts nationwide.
Acting DND Secretary Jose Faustino Jr. said that from 89 in July 2016, there were now only five active guerilla fronts remaining.
“The capabilities of the CTG (communist terrorist group) and LTGs (local terrorist groups) have been significantly diminished over the last few years. The concerted efforts of the security sector have drawn us even closer to the end of the armed conflict with the inevitable collapse of these armed groups,” Faustino said.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong reported that as of Sept. 20, 2022, a total of 2,890 conflict-affected villages have been cleared through the AFP’s development support and security plan “Kapayapaan” and the DND’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Citing AFP data, Andolong said that from July 1, 2016 to Sept. 26, 2022, a total of 10,608 regular New People’s Army (NPA) members were neutralized, and more than 41,000 underground members, mass supporters and sympathizers withdrew their support from the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF).
In a separate statement, the DND said a total of 4,644 LTG members were neutralized during the same period while a total of 1,386 cities/municipalities and 31,254 villages nationwide have declared the CPP-NPA persona non grata.
Faustino gave credit to the contribution of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to the government’s campaign against armed groups.
“This victory, of course, cannot be credited only to the DND and AFP. We are inching closer to total victory, and the defense organization is hopeful for the continued support of the Filipino people,” Faustino said.