Number of violent incidents involving the rebs up 50%

THE NEW People’s Army has intensified its operations as violent incidents involving the rebel group increased by about 50% to 126 during the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, the 10th Infantry Division reported.

The report also said aside from the increase in the number of incidents, as only 51 were recorded during the period last year, the number of barangays that were affected by the presence of the rebels rose to 368 during the period from just 86 86 in the same period last year.

This covered Regions XI and XII, the division’s areas of responsibility.

The rebel group, however, did not comment on this story.

Cpt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of 10th ID, told the TIMES that the figures increased even with the conduct of peace negotiations between the national government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The peace talks have been suspended since July following the continued attacks by NPAs including the ambush of the convoy of Presidential Security Guards in Carmen, Cotabato on July 19, according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process.

“When there was ceasefire, we have no combat operations. We only had more barangay immersions. But when there was no ceasefire, they were able to harass especially in Cafgu Active Auxiliary detachments. They also burned equipment and plantations,” Lamosao said.

With the increase in the figures of violent incidents, Priscilla R. Sonido, acting assistant regional director of National Economic and Development Authority XI, said the region is below the target on meeting the goals to attain peace and development according to the Davao Region Development Plan (DRDP).

Under the DRDP 2017-2022, Sonido said on Friday during the opening ceremony of 28th National Statistics Month at The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites that there should be only 103 CPP-NDF-NPA (CNN)-affected barangays for the year and 77 violent incidents involving the NPAs.

These targets, she said, are set as they planned to curb revolutionary movement and activities to attain peace and development in the region.

“But as of the first semester this year, there are 368 CNN-affected barangays and 126 violent incidents involving the NPA, which are higher than the targets set in the DRDP,” Sonido said.

Noting on the figures, Sonido said the region has still more work to be done to meet the targets.

This, she said, has to be addressed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The NPA, Lamosao said, also conducted massive recruitment to join their movement. They also implemented extortion activities.

Ltc. Norman L. Alcovindas, acting chief of staff for civil military operations, G7, of 10th ID, said the NPAs allegedly already extorted an amount of P1.3 billion from different companies in Davao Region alone.

“Though even with the increase of violent incidents that involved the NPAs, we are intensifying our efforts to curb these to attain peace and development,” Alcovindas said.

Despite the increase in the incidents, Lamosao said they recorded 196 NPAs who surrendered in 10th ID in January to present as a result of their program to encourage the members of the group to surrender.

But the NDFP said in a statement that the move for NPAs to surrender, which has been a repeated demand of President Rodrigo Duterte, “is empty bravado.”

“The NPA will continue to carry out tactical offensives in order to hold the Duterte regime accountable for and its crimes and rights abuses committed in the course of its triple wars, as well as corruption and subservience to US imperialism,” NDFP said.

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