Number of rebels declining — AFP

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. lauded the Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) and local government units for the ongoing surrenders of New People’s Army (NPA) members and supporters in their respective areas.

“I commend our troops in the Eastern Mindanao Command and local government units for being able to handle an overwhelming number of surrenderers, they still continue to come down and go back to the folds of the law,” Galvez said in a statement over the weekend.

From Jan. 1 to Oct. 10 this year, the number of surrenderers at the EMC alone is placed at 8,665.

These individuals are now undergoing the process for their eligibility to avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) benefits from the government, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said.

EMC units have so far seized 821 firearms 324 improvised explosive devices from surrenderers and encounters. Some 131 rebel camps were also overrun and cleared of war materiel and explosives.

Meanwhile, the Northern Luzon Command has also recorded 180 NPA surrenders in the same period. Also arrested were 19 rebels, while 109 firearms and 44 explosives were seized and 29 rebel camps overrun .

“The Northern Luzon Command also showed significant accomplishments against communist terrorists amidst the humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts in the recent calamities that hit Northern Luzon,” Galvez added.

He said these developments show that the military is deliberate in its operations against insurgents and terrorists in all parts of the country.

“We also urge members of these terrorist groups to go back to the folds of the law instead of dying in senseless battles. The government is very eager to help returnees in all the ways that it can to sustain their families and help them go back to the normal way of living, away from armed struggle,” Galvez added. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)

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