EastMinCom eyes NPA dismantling

The Eastern Mindanao Command — the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ unified arm in the region — is seeking to dismantle the remaining guerilla fronts and vertical units of the New People’s Army before the year ends.

EastMinCom commander Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said that they are intensifying efforts to neutralize insurgents in the Davao, Soccsksargen and Caraga regions following their successful anti-insurgency campaign in the eastern part of Mindanao, dismantling some 26 NPA guerilla fronts and 10 vertical units.

The figure likewise accounts for 40 percent of the total AFP’s accomplishments in its fight against communist insurgency.

Almerol disclosed that 13 guerilla fronts and five vertical units were dismantled during his stint as EastMinCom commander, adding that that 50 percent of the total communist terrorist group units in Eastern Mindanao for the past six years.

“I am very optimistic that before the end of the year, EastMinCom with its Joint Task Forces will dismantle the few remaining Guerilla Fronts and NPA Vertical Units,” Almerol said.

The EastMinCom has neutralized a total of 4,797 CTG members, with 3,579 NPA rebels surrendered, 524 captured, and 403 killed during encounters — all because of the focused military operations, intensified stakeholder engagements, and localized peace engagements with former communist rebels.

This is on top of the accounted 101 top-ranking leaders being nuetralized, including national-level personalities Jorge “Oris” Madlos, Menandro “Bok” Villanueva, and Loida “Gwen” Magpatoc.

Among EastMinCom’s seized communist items were 1,388 anti-personnel mines, 4,607 assorted firearms composed of 2,732 high-powered and 1,875 low-powered during combat operations, and the surrender of CTG members.

The AFP’s unified EastMinCom command also helped the local government units to push developments in the former CTG-infiltrated areas through the completion of 251 barangay development projects under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The authorities cited the accomplishments were deemed significant in quelling the decades-old communist insurgency as it led to the declaration of Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao City, all in Davao Region as “insurgency-free.”

Almerol said the command’s “Kalinaw Sidlakang Mindanao” campaign has also been part of the “foundation to push conflict-resilient communities and promoting inclusive growth.”

“Given our numerous meaningful achievements, we triumphantly achieved significant milestones through the collective efforts of the men and women of EastMinCom,” he said. “The gains we have achieved would not be made possible without the sterling leadership of our Commanders on the ground, along with the constant support and cooperation of our stakeholders.”

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