MANILA The communist rebels' bloody defeat in Victoria, Northern Samar on Thursday, where three insurgents were killed and another was captured, is an indication that the revolutionary movement is running out of cadres capable of fighting a war, a military official said.
"Their latest debacle in Northern Samar is an indication that they have run out of cadres who can wage an armed struggle. What they have are young students recruited and deceived to hold the guns for the old and sickly (Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair) Mr. (Jose Maria 'Joma') Sison who is safely hiding in (the) Netherlands," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Friday.
And with almost no one left in their ranks to do the fighting, Detoyato urged remnants of the NPA to surrender peacefully and be a productive part of mainstream society.
"With this premise, we are again asking those who were deceived to wage an armed struggle to go back to mainstream peaceful Filipino society and avail of the government E-CLIP package to be with their families once again and contribute to nation-building. With EO (Executive Order) 70 and the whole nation going in one direction towards ending local communist armed conflict, we can move faster and our steps firmer towards our common goal of a peaceful Philippines," he said.
The E-CLIP, which stands for the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program, was institutionalized by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 3, 2018 to provide a complete package of assistance and interventions to former communist rebels and their immediate families, to prepare them for integration to mainstream society.
The package includes skills development training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, PhilHealth enrollment, housing, livelihood and legal assistance, among others.
Since January 2018, a total of 11,000 regular NPA fighters and supporters have surrendered to government troops, with another 600 communist rebels and sympathizers laying down arms for the first three months of 2019 alone.
"For the period covering Jan. 1, 2019 to date, the numbers will tell us that the downward trend and the tell-tale signs of an irreversible trend to the status of irrelevance is already smack in the face of the CPP-NPA-NDF's (New People's Army - National Democratic Front) 50-year-old revolution who waged an undeclared war against the Filipinos and hampered our growth," Detoyato added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency