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Thursday, September 4, 2014

AFP Commander: He has high hopes

AFP Commander General Catapang aims to declare Philippines NPA-free next year

The AFP Commander made commented recently:

“My target is to declare the entire country peaceful and ready for development before I step down,” Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang said. He firmly said that New People’s Army will be wiped out before his retirement next year.

“When I go around, I read reports and the usual sightings were 20 men. When I add them up, they are just hundreds. That’s why I’m asking the intelligence [group] to re-assess the situation,” Catapang added.  This forecast by the military chief is one year ahead of President Aquino’s commitment to eradicate the New People’s Army before he step down as the country’s president.

The CPP/NPA is unlikely to be eradicated anytime soon and certainly not on General Catapang's watch.  The NPA is still active on many fronts around the country.  Here is just one recent example.

NPA rebels ransack banana plantation in Compostela Valley
23 Aug 2014 TAGUM CITY, Philippines—Communist rebels attacked a banana plantation in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, on Friday, burned down its packing house and several pieces of equipment and divested the guards of at least 10 firearms, police said Saturday.
The rebels also chopped down some 300 fruit-bearing plants at the Musahamat Farm 1 Inc. in Sitio Cadena in Barangay Tagdangua village around 10:30 p.m., according to Senior Superintendent Abraham Rojas, Compostela Valley police chief.
Rojas told the Inquirer in a telephone interview by phone that the rebels, numbering about 60, set fire to the packing house and the firm’s chemical stock room, a backhoe, five units of water pumps and three container vans.
“According to Mr. Edilberto Durante, the firm’s security chief, the [rebels] immediately herded the workers and lectured them about the supposed issue of low wages being paid by the company, and then razed the place,” Rojas said.
He said troops from the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Maneuvering Company of the Philippine National Police’s 11th Regional Public Safety Battalion have mounted a pursuit operation against the rebels.

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