CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City--The Communist Party of the Philippines is in disarray following subsequent political and tactical setbacks ahead of their anniversary this year, Armed Forces of the Philippines' Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay said.
The AFP Chief cited significant accomplishments on the ground and on the political arena, including the recent exposé by former rebels of Party-list groups involved in the radicalization and recruitment of individuals to the communist terror group (CTG).
"The CPP-NPA and their front organizations have nothing to celebrate. They failed on the ground, got exposed in Congress, and were unmasked abroad for their fake advocacies," General Gapay said.
Tactical accomplishments brought by relentless internal security operations resulted in the death, capture, and surrender of communist terrorists on the ground, as well as the further erosion of their mass base with underground and party members continuing to withdraw their support.
Three CTGs were killed in an encounter with government troops at Pangi, Tandag City, Surigao Del Sur on October 31. Seven firearms were also confiscated from around 40 NPAs who fled the encounter site.
On November 13, the 28th Infantry Battalion also killed in an encounter one terrorist and seized six high-powered firearms against the CTG in Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte
Five more high-powered firearms were confiscated from the terror group on November 15, this time in Brgy Marayag, Lupon, Davao Oriental.
One communist terrorist was also killed in an encounter with the 31st Infantry Battalion on November 19 at Brgy San Jose, Bulusan, Sorsogon. Six high-powered firearms were captured in the encounter site.
One CTG was killed when the 3rd Special Forces Battalion encountered around 30 NPAs in Marihatag, Surigao Del Sur on November 28. Five high-powered firearms were also captured from the fleeing terrorists.
On December 2, joint law enforcement operations at Brgy Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato resulted to the death of five CTGs who resisted arrest. Found in their possession are four assorted firearms and anti-personnel mines (APM).
The 25th Infantry Battalion in an encounter with around eight CTGs at Brgy Sto Niño, New Corella, Davao Del Norte on December 12. One NPA was killed and another wounded. Government forces also captured seven high-powered firearms from the fleeing enemies.
Meanwhile, four enemies were killed in an operation launched by the AFP in Rizal Occidental Mindoro on December 14. Eight firearms were also confiscated from the CTGs.
Another joint law enforcement operation also led to the death of five NPAs who fired upon government troops while serving an arrest warrant in Baras, Rizal on December 17. Five firearms were also seized from the suspects.
Another communist terrorist was also killed in an encounter against troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion on December 18 in Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur. Found in the encounter site were five firearms, APMs, and various ammunitions.
Most recently, troops of the 8th Infantry Division encountered around 60 communist terrorists at Brgy Happy Valley in San Isidro, Northern Samar. This resulted in one terrorist dead ,suspected to be the notorious front secretary in the area, and the confiscation of five high-powered firearms.
Aside from their mass base and main fighting units, the CTG leadership also continue to suffer setbacks with the neutralization of CPP ranking personalities.
These include Julius Giron, Chairman of CPP/NPA, and Head of the National Military Commission; Agaton Topacio Staff National Military Commission, CPP; Eugenia Magpantay-Topacio, Head National Education Department; Teresita Lapuz Naul, Secretary, Regional White Area Committee, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee; and Alvin Luque, Spokesperson of Komisyong Mindanao.
"We have decisively won the war against the CTG in various regions of the country with the dismantling of 10 so-called guerilla fronts or ganster of the CPP-NPA. These are located in Isabela province and Bicol region in Luzon; Leyte and Samar in Visayas; and various provinces in Western, Southern, and Eastern Mindanao," AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said in a year-end briefing on December 22.
Tactical accomplishments also resulted in the overall decline in NPA-initiated atrocities against civilians from 113 in 2019 to 78 so far this year.
"The CPP-NPA is in a political and tactical crisis given the high impact accomplishments of our troops both on the ground and at the General Headquarters. Paired that with the highly developed capability and equipment of our fighting units, there is nowhere else to go but down for the enemy," General Gapay said.
"The complete victory we aspire against the CPP-NPA-NDF is near and we are confident that by 2022, this decades-old senseless conflict will be brought to an end," General Gapay assessed.///