The Western Mindanao Command welcomes the designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as a terrorist group.
“With the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the WestMinCom mounts its all-out offensives to pressure and to hunt communist rebels in the area of operations,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, WestMinCom commander.
In February 2018, the Department of Justice filed a proscription before the Regional Trial Court in Manila to declare the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. This is pursuant to Proclamation No. 374, dated December 5, 2017, and Section 17 of Republic Act No. 9372, the “Human Security Act of 2007.”
“They were responsible for 235 attacks in 204 cities across the Philippines in 2017, resulting in 113 deaths,” claimed the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank and peace advocate.
According to the IEP’s “Global Terrorism Index 2018,” the CPP-NPA committed the highest number of deaths in the Philippines in 2017. It committed 35% of the total deaths, 78% of which occurred while attacks were initiated on government officials and military targets, mostly in the provinces of North Cotabato and Bukidnon.
The GTI also showed that 33% of deaths were committed by unknown groups, trailed by the Abu Sayyaf (18%) and by the Maute group (8%).
The AFP earlier expressed support to this declaration and vowed to pursue communist rebels “without reservation and restrictions.”
In 2017, fourteen communist rebels died in the combat operations and 141 surrendered to the WestMinCom troops. Government forces also arrested 14 communist rebels in Mindanao.
Last year, our focused military operations yielded to two deaths, surrenders of seven, and arrests of 270 communist rebels.
“The spate of military operations led to massive capitulations of rebels and disintegration of communist factions in Mindanao,” added Lieutenant General Dela Vega.
“Backed by the support of the Mindanaoans, we anticipate that more rebels will return to the fold of the law and benefit from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program,” he added.
Through our intense operations, a communist rebel died and 27 more surrendered to the troops this year. Six communist terrorists also yielded to the joint task forces in Mindanao since January 1, 2019.
“Community support programs are underway to complement our tactical and intelligence operations in Mindanao,” said Lieutenant General Dela Vega.