The Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry “Agila” Division (10ID) said it has cleared Davao City of the presence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
During Thursday’s gathering here of former rebels who used to operate in the city, Maj. Gen. Nolasco Mempin, 10ID commander, said government troops managed to beat President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadline to make Davao City “insurgency-free.”
The mayor of Davao City is vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte.
“The army can finally move forward to doing more activities that promote patriotism and nation-building instead of fighting local wars. I am very glad to share this momentous victory, we achieved to clear the city of insurgencies ahead of the target deadline of the President,” Mempin said.
The Army-hosted event gathered former NPA combatants from the Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC 5), which was considered the most active NPA unit in the country before being dismantled by government forces.
Mempin lauded the former NPA fighters for their decision to give up arms and start a new life in mainstream society.
He recalled that in 2016, the NPA’s SRC5 had two active Guerilla Fronts and three Pulang Bagani Command operating in most of the Davao Region.
The Philippine Army’s implementation of Executive Order 70, which institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in addressing the insurgency problem, Mempin said the NPA units began disintegrating, leading to the dissolution of the regional rebel apparatus in the Davao Region.
He said he was elated to see the city’s ecotourism take off with the dismantling of local communist armed groups.
“As we continue to pursue our quest in attaining our vision of becoming a world-class army that is a source of national pride in 2028, we hope that you extend the same support and guidance that you have so generously shared as we also pursue our mission of ending the local communist insurgency in Southern Mindanao before the term of President Duterte ends,” he said.