rebels in Visayas neutralized in October – military

The Visayas Command (Viscom) said Friday the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) suffered devastating losses in October after the neutralization of 28 rebels during eight government-initiated encounters.

Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, Viscom commander, said three of the 28 rebels died during the encounters while 25 surrendered.

Nineteen of those who yielded were regular NPA combatants while six were members of the Militia ng Bayan, he said.

The figure is apart from the 61 CPP-NPA supporters who denounced their support for the communist group and pledged allegiance to the government in the same month.

Meanwhile, a total of 30 firearms of different calibers and six anti-personnel mines were seized by the government troops, also in October.

'Defeating the CPP-NPA in the Visayas region remains on top of our list amidst our mandate to support the Comelec (Commission on Elections) in ensuring the success of the recently concluded Barangay and SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) Elections. Our efforts against the CPP-NPA will never falter, as we respond to the call of our people for just and lasting peace in the entire region,' Arevalo said in a statement.

He also pledged to sustain the efforts to eliminate members of the communist group in the region as he appealed to the NPA rebels to surrender and return to the fold of the law.

'As for the few remaining members of the CPP-NPA, Christmas is fast approaching, just imagine your families and loved ones and how happy they will be to celebrate the season with you. Choose the path of peace and return to the fold of the law now, while you still can,' Arevalo said.

Source: Philippines News Agency