CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City-- A total of 201 members of the communist terrorist group New People's Army fall in relentless internal security operations so far this year.

Information collected from military units on the ground also report that 7,615 fighters, militias, propagandists, and underground organization members and supporters have returned to the fold of law.

Some 264 more were arrested in joint law enforcement operations by the Philippine National Police and the military in the same period.

"I can confidently say that we are close to realizing our goal of totally destroying this communist armed threat by 2022. With operational excellence, organizational efficiency, and the steady support of our people, we can achieve the complete victory we've been aiming for," Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay said.

General Gapay also lauded AFP units who have posted significant accomplishments, especially in taking down notorious communist leaders in their area of responsibility.

Just recently, the Northern Luzon Command under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr reported the arrest of Jose Bernardino, who was at the forefront of extortion and labor and youth radicalization in Central Luzon.

He was arrested in Mexico, Pampanga by joint police and military operatives on December 4. He was in possession of a cal. 45 pistol, one hand grenade, and documents with high intelligence value.

This came two days after Amanda Echanis alias Waya, an NPA Finance Officer in Cagayan Valley, was arrested by government forces who were serving a search warrant in Baggao, Cagayan.

Also arrested on December 4 is Marilou Pascual Tan, who goes by the name of Ka Tinay, a notorious terrorist leader in Bicol region, by virtue of a warrant of arrest for frustrated murder.

She was arrested in TInambac, Camarines Sur and found in her possession were anti-personnel mines, a hand grenade, a caliber .38 pistol, and documents of high intelligence value.

Another high-ranking communist terrorist were killed with four others in a joint law enforcement operation in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on December 2.

The Western Mindanao Command under Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan reported that government authorities were fired upon while approaching the group of Romeo Libron, an NPA commander notorious in the region.

"The NPAs are now in disarray as more of their leaders fall against our concerted efforts. This, paired with the effort of the National Task Force on Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict to expose their modus of recruiting the youth, further strengthens our position in ending this decades old problem," General Gapay said.///