Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Sunday that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has been substantially weakened by the surrender of more than 2,800 of its members from January to November this year.
Sinas said over the entire 11-month period, a total of 3,312 CPP-NPA members were accounted for, of which 366 were arrested; 117 died during the operations; and 2,829 surrendered during separate police operations.
On the very day of the 52nd founding anniversary of the CPP last December 26, he said 35 communist fighters surrendered and renounced their membership with the CPP and its armed wing in Caraga and the Eastern Visayas regions.
On the same day, two ranking CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF) leaders, both wanted by the court to stand trial for kidnapping and murder, were captured in Quezon province.
From December 18 to 26, Sinas said six CPP-NPA-NDF members were arrested, 108 surrendered and 45 assorted firearms and eight explosive devices were confiscated.
Sinas said the enactment of Republic Act 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 on July 3 boosted “the opportunities for the PNP to fully end the local insurgency.”
He said the communist group was generally passive in terms of mounting offensive operations that could show its strength and relevance relative to the celebration of the CPP’s 52nd founding anniversary.
“This passive stance strongly supports the overall assessment that the CPP/NPA has been substantially weakened because of the sustained and intensified government efforts to end local communist armed conflict that resulted to significant losses of key CPP-NPA leaders, seasoned fighters and mass supporters,” he said.
Sinas said the PNP has enrolled 350 rebel returnees to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and amnesty program, while 407 surrendered firearms were processed for grant of government benefits under E-CLIP.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), these rebel returnees are given the life-changing opportunity to lead normal lives with their families as free and empowered citizens, he said. SOVEREIGNPH