7,728 Reds neutralized from Jan. 1 to Aug. 8: AFP spox

MANILA A total of 7,728 New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas and their supporters have been neutralized by government troops from January 1 to August 8 this year.

This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo in a press briefing Wednesday.

This can be broken down into 7,515 NPA regulars and supporters, who surrendered in the above-mentioned period. At least 83 were killed during encounters with security troops, and 130 others had been arrested.

Arevalo also reported the capture of 971 firearms, 453 of which are high-powered and another 518 low-powered - along with 341 improvised explosive devices.

Also seized during the same period were 161 NPA camps or encampments.

Earlier, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said the lack of political ideology is also one of the primary reasons why NPA fighters and supporters are surrendering en masse.

"The ideology is dead. Fighting and extorting for survival na lang sila. Yan ang reason why many are taking the path of surrendering. And the only way to stop the exodus of surrenderors is to force the government to sit down for peace talks so that there will be a ceasefire or worse for the government, a 'stand down'," the military official said.

This lack of ideology is also forcing the remaining rebels to engage in extortion and other atrocities just to survive, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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