AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expects more victories against communist terrorists as it can now deploy more troops with the easing of some quarantine restrictions in many parts of the country, its spokesperson said Tuesday.

“Now that the number of areas on ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) that were placed on GCQ (general community quarantine) continues to increase, more and more AFP personnel can now be redeployed to further step up the tempo of focused military operations,” Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement sent to reporters.

Arevalo said victories are possible once troop redeployment goes into high gear.

“If our current deployments have already been reaping success, we are confident that the fresh troops that will be brought back to the front lines will have (a) positive impact (on) our campaign against the CTG (communist terrorist groups) and the LTG (local terrorist groups). The AFP will pursue our operational initiatives against CTG and seize the momentum given the string of successes we had very recently,” he added.

Arevalo’s statement came after military operations conducted on June 16 to 23 resulted in the death of 10 communist terrorists, including a New People’s Army (NPA) leader operating in Oriental Mindoro and a member of the so-called “Morong 43”.

“Meanwhile, around 22 CNT (communist New People’s Army terrorists) and MB (Militia ng Bayan) surrendered or were captured. At least 26 firearms, an IED (improvised explosive device), four rifle grenades, two electronic devices, and USB flash drives containing important information about the terrorist organization were either seized or captured,” he added.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, along with its armed wing, the NPA, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

In a public address late Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte called on the AFP to hit the NPA hard, tagging the group as the top threat to the country’s security. (PNA)