DAVAO CITY – The Army belied the recent report by the National Democratic Front that the guerrilla troops of the New People’s Army and their armaments are increasing.

In a statement, Captain Alberto Caber of the Eastern Mindanao Command said the number of the regular NPA members in their area of responsibility “was reduced by 17 percent, or by 344”.

Caber said majority of the decrease is attributed to the NPA surrenderees.

“The number of affected barangays was reduced by 27 percent, or by 152,” he said.

“Also for the same period, the NPAs high powered firearms were reduced by 148 and there were five guerrilla fronts dismantled,” said Caber.

“Many of the stakeholders, particularly those former rebels and victims of CNN atrocities have come out on the open to expose their its dirty tactics; which include the radicalization of students and mobilization and exploitation of the (indigenous peoples),” he said.

The military refers CNN to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP); its armed wing, the NPA  and its political wing the Nationald Democratic Front (NDF).

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, in a statement said “the CPP-NPA personnel dropped by 17 percent from 2,035 to 1,691 and the affected villages went down by 25 percent from 547 to 414.”

“Government forces also managed to reduce the rebels’ arsenal by about six percent from 2,383 to 2,232,” Coloma added.

“And their guerrilla front was cut from 29 to 24 or 17 percent,” he said.

In its statement released during their anniversary, the Central Committee of the CPP said they “have defeated the latest reactionary regime of big compradors and landlords, the US-Aquino regime.”

“Its US-designed Oplan Bayanihan has failed to achieve its objective of destroying or reducing the New People’s Army to inconsequence despite the deployment of 70 percent of its maneuver battalions against the revolutionary forces,” said the CPP.

The CPP said the deployment of 24 percent of government troops  in Eastern Mindanao “has resulted in the intensification and advance of the people’s war in this area and in other regions in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon.”

“The inspiring example of the revolutionary forces and people of Eastern Mindanao and the intensification of tactical offensives elsewhere have served to strengthen and advance the people’s war nationwide,” it said.

The CPP said their forces in Eastern Mindanao have “demonstrated that they can grow stronger by fighting back against the most concentrated enemy attacks.”

“In the latest enemy campaign against the NPA in Eastern Mindanao, the premise is that the deployment of 30 percent of the total armed strength of the reactionary armed forces would result in the defeat of 40 percent of total NPA strength. But the result is the contrary.”

“The NPA in Eastern Mindanao has prevailed over the enemy by taking advantage of the wide gaps in enemy deployment on rough terrain and has inspired the forces of the NPA in other regions of Mindanao and in the Visayas and Luzon to intensify their tactical offensives,” said the CPP.

The CPP also said “the conditions for advancing the Philippine revolution are excellent.”

“The crisis of the world capitalist system is ever worsening. The capitalist powers continue to fail in lifting the global economy from crisis and depression,” the CPP said.

“They keep on passing the burden of crisis to the people and are thus aggravating the economic and financial crisis as well as escalating inter-imperialist contradictions bringing about widespread conditions of state terrorism and imperialist wars of aggression,” it said.

The CPP, however, admitted that they have not yet accomplished their target to advance to “strategic stalemate”.

“The delay in achieving nationwide the strategic stalemate can be explained by the uneven development of the subjective forces and by the intensity of enemy reaction upon the rise in the number of offensives carried out by the people’s army,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Army has also warned politicians from paying permit-to-campaign fees to the CPP. It called the PTC as an “extortion scheme”and as “dirty tactic”.

“EastMinCom again advises the candidates against giving in to the demands of the CNN bandits as the extortion money can be used to sustain the armed struggle through violence and intimidations against innocent civilians and properties. Also as consequence, this CNN extortion scheme hampers the delivery of government services and causing underdevelopment or non-development of far-flung communities,” he said.

In 2013, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has said that the taxation of the NPA is “a reality” and advised businesses to “just pay them”.

An NPA leader has said the PTC gives candidates the permit to enter their areas where their “organs of political power” exist. (davaotoday.com)

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