By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD
A total of 18 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were killed as a result of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) focused military operations in the first three weeks of January 2018.
Lt. Col. Emmamuel R. Garcia, the chief of the AFP’s Public Affairs Office, said the successful neutralization of NPA rebels is attributed to the close coordination between the security sector and local communities as they inform soldiers on the presence of NPA fighters especially those conducting extortion.
Just recently, two NPA leaders were killed after they engaged police and soldiers in a firefight in Tarlac while elsewhere especially in Mindanao, several rebels were also killed.
It may be recalled that in a joint command conference in Compostela Valley province last week, President Duterte ordered the AFP to destroy the NPA so that peace and economic progress will be achieved especially in the countryside.
Garcia said the AFP has been recording its gains in the fight against the NPA since the termination of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF) last year, where a total of 163 NPA terrorists were killed in various operations nationwide.
A total of 188 NPAs also surrendered during the first three weeks of January this year who were provided with financial assistance, livelihood, remuneration for their surrendered firearms, and skills training to help them start a reformed life away from armed struggle.